Senior Center News: June 9

On Wednesday, June 15, the Wilton Senior Center and Wilton Social Services will honor and thank its volunteers at a noon luncheon at Ogden House. More than 100 volunteers are invited to the festivities.

The Wilton Senior Center has come a long way since 1973 and the basement room in Center School that was designated the Adult Social Center.

In the years following, Adele MacGregor and Dot Tracey initiated a program of weekly luncheons prepared and served by the Wilton Presbyterian, Zion’s Hill Methodist, Wilton Baptist, and Our Lady of Fatima churches. The Woman’s Club supported the early venture by arranging programming for lunch-goers. Cis Cohen was named the first official volunteer director. Dorothy Wright and Jody Heussner followed in her footsteps.

In 1983, the group moved to Ogden House,where they paid rent to use the great room, library, kitchen, and craft room for activities. In 1992 came the next move to Comstock, where a single room — the present day café — was dedicated to seniors. Several years later, the name changed from Wilton Adult Center to Wilton Senior Center.

The first town-employed coordinator, Marie Key, was hired in 1990 for 14 hours per week. Usage of the senior center increased under the direction of successor coordinators Tessa Donnelly and Jan MacEwen. Lizabeth Doty became the first full-time coordinator in 2002.

In 2010, First Selectman Bill Brennan designated space at the Comstock Community Center for the exclusive use of the Wilton Senior Center. These rooms became the café, lounge, game room, and crafts and arts studio. The new space was dedicated in March 2011.

As a result of the recently completed Comstock renovation project, the Wilton Senior Center has been refurbished with new ceiling tiles and energy-efficient lighting; enhanced handicap accessibility and security; improved heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning; remodeled café and kitchen; and additional restrooms.

There has been one constant throughout the years: the volunteers. Volunteers have contributed time and talent regardless of where the Wilton Senior Center was located or how much space the Wilton Senior Center occupied.

Whether leading a book discussion, giving a series of talks, planting flowers, painting, conducting an activity, or preparing a meal, volunteers have contributed to making the senior center a place with stimulating and creative opportunities for the social, physical, emotional, and intellectual enrichment of Wilton’s senior citizens.

Brookdale picnic

Brookdale Wilton will host its annual summer picnic for the seniors on Wednesday, June 22, from noon to 1:30. The picnic will feature a buffet prepared by Brookdale’s resident chef and entertainment. Call the Wilton Senior Center at 203-834-6240 to make a reservation.

Drop-in opportunities

Enhance Fitness: Thursdays, 9-10 a.m., with Leslie Hinshaw. This is an evidence-based group exercise program that helps older adults at all levels of fitness become active, energized, and empowered to sustain independent lives. Fee: $3 per class.

Line Dance Fusion: Mondays, 10:30-11:30 a.m., with Beatriz Araujo. This program blends traditional dance steps with elements of modern line dancing. Waltz, Mambo Italiano, Charleston, Lambada, samba electric slide and tango are rolled into one to keep your feet moving and your heart pumping. This is a great form of exercise and social interaction for beginners as well as experienced dancers. Fee: $3 per class.

BeMoved: Tuesdays, 9:45-10:45 a.m., with Phyllis Hirschfield. BeMoved is a new dance fitness experience for adults of all movement abilities. It is designed to deliver a safe, body-friendly movement experience that improves the quality of a person’s movement. Each class focuses on a different musical dance genre using continuous, engaging dance combinations to inspire anyone from first-time dancer to professional. Fee: $5 per class.

Tai Chi: Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30 a.m., with Joe Alampi. Tai Chi contains a series of gentle and graceful movements performed with respiration coordination and deep concentration. Practicing Tai Chi leads to relaxation of the body and mind, improves flexibility and balance, and enhances energy and general well-being. Tai Chi has been shown to prevent falls and improve the functioning of daily activities. Fee: $3 per class.

Yoga: Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to noon, with Denise O’Hearn. O’Hearn, owner of Vibrant Moves in Wilton, conducts this gentle yoga class that warms up your joints, stretches and strengthens your muscles and helps your balance and focus. Classes include warm-ups, breathwork (pranayama), yoga postures (asanas), relaxation and meditation. Leave class feeling refreshed and alive. Fee: $3 per class.

Feldenkrais: Fridays, 10-11 a.m., with Cathy Paine. Do you limit yourself without even knowing it? Do other people try to tell you how you feel? It’s time to take charge of your own comfort and discard the movement patterns that hold you back. You are the only person living in your body. Why not make it a home you enjoy. Explore this exciting and innovative movement method designed to relieve pain, exercise your brain and teach you to move with greater comfort, ease, and fluidity. Fee: $5 per class.

Chair Yoga: Tuesdays, 2-3 p.m., with Liz Wendell. Gentle chair yoga at Ogden House, 100 River Road. To register, call Betty at 203-762-8035. Fee: $3 per class.

Coming events

For the week of June 10:

Friday, June 10, 10, Feldenkrais with Cathy Paine; 12, Bridge with Eleanor Mihailidis; 1:30, Intermediate Bridge with Dan DeVlieg; 1:30-3, Free Swim at the Wilton YMCA.

Monday, June 13, 10:30, Line Dance Fusion with Beatriz Araujo; 12, Movie; 1, Bridge.

Tuesday, June 14, 9, Stay at Home in Wilton Men’s Breakfast at Orem’s Diner; 9:45, No BeMoved class today; 11, Yoga with Denise O’Hearn; 1, Mah Jongg with Kay Chann; 1, Studio Knitting; 2, Chair Yoga at Ogden House.

Wednesday, June 15, 9:30, Sewing at Ogden House; 10, Open Bridge with Dan DeVlieg; 10:30, Tai Chi with Joe Alampi; 12, Volunteer Lunch at Ogden House; 1, Mah Jongg.

Thursday, June 16, 9, Enhance Fitness with Leslie Hinshaw; 10, Yoga with Denise O’Hearn.