June 25, 2007
Twenty-five years and counting
Delano Senior Center observes 25 years
By Karrah Anderson
Oh . . . We are here
The 25th Anniversary
of the Senior Center . . . it’s great!
The center was founded
in nineteen eighty-two
a place for all seniors
for me and for you!
We want to say thank you
from all of you
to Mayors Wetter and Johnson
and the Sunshine Club crew.
They had a great vision
A dream made real
A place for us to gather
and share a meal.
To share a meal
And so much more
Trips, plays, birthday parties,
The senior choir
the bridge group
the story tellers,
a really great group.
We have driving classes
volunteer drivers, so great
nutritious meals on wheels
are never late.
So thanks again
to these pioneers
for their wisdom and planning
for our future years.
Barb Merriman wrote the descriptive lyrics for the General Federated Women’s Club (GFWC) to sing to the Delano Senior Center at its anniversary dinner Tuesday afternoon. The club honored specific people and provided the entire room with laughter and cheer.
The women’s club added to the hearty spirit at the anniversary dinner at the senior center. These boisterous women sung their hearts out, hand motions included; every last word resonating with the gratitude shared among the guests celebrating the center.
These women travel around the area, performing many different tasks, and singing telegrams happen to be one of their specialties.
The dinner took place in celebration of 25 years, and recognized important people who have contributed to the success of the center.
Several people who were influential in starting the original senior center, including former Delano Mayor Gordy Wetter, and former Independence Mayor Marvin Johnson, sat among many other significant people that were instrumental in establishing the center.
Senior Community Services, and Delano-Loretto United Way were among a few of the organizations represented at the dinner. These organizations have helped the center in the past, and continue to support them through providing various services that allow the senior center to function as it does.
Present Delano Mayor Joe McDonald said it best when he pointed out that, “at the senior center, you get to eat your dessert first.”
The senior center staff worked hard in planning the entire anniversary week for more than a year, and their hard work paid off, with a very large group in attendance.
That same lively attitude radiated throughout the dinner as Ben Withhart, executive director and CEO of Senior Community Services, spoke about the roots of the center.
He described the dedicated volunteers that tried to start a center merely through fundraising. They kept senior meetings going for less than a year, but then lost support.
Although discouraging, people did not give up, and they worked to find a place to call home for the next senior center operation.
A building was found, but another roadblock was in the way the flood plain. This was a slight hiccup and was combatted right away. With a little bit of constructive surgery to the landscaping surrounding the framework, the old Takor building was transformed into the original Delano Senior Center.
The success of the center brought in many regular senior citizens who attend the center daily. With this increase in attendance, the center outgrew its original home and moved to the new city hall/senior center building in 2003.
The new building is much larger, providing more space for the many different activities and services the senior center offers.
After dessert at the anniversary dinner, came a delicious home-cooked meal, served by the staff at the senior center.
Regular attendees of the center congregated and shared in the celebration of the center, along with the original “class of ‘82.” They reminisced about old times, and caught each other up about their mutual acquaintances.
After the meal the GFWC burst into the room singing “Celebrate Good Times,” followed by their personal little ditty.
They honored Wetter and Johnson for their significant influence in the center, along with the very surprised Gail Sinkel, who has served at the senior center for the past 23 years.
These three individuals were recognized for their positive influence on the development and sustainability of the senior center and their communities.
Along with the GFWC, the Prairie Boys Mark Anderson and John Bingea provided more entertainment after the meal. Their musical performance concluded the event.
The anniversary week was filled with many different events. Mayor McDonald helped kick off the week last Monday, when he helped Mary Buch and Dorothy Dalbec deliver Meals on Wheels.
The anniversary dinner continued the festivities and added to a fun, busy week. The center hosted many other events throughout the week that allowed the community to come and check out what was worth celebrating.
The Delano Senior Center has successfully celebrated its 25th year, and many members of the community, along with the guests of honor, look with hopeful eyes to the future, that there will be another 25 years to come.