By Kristen Miller
DASSEL-COKATO, MN - There are several opportunities throughout the communities of Dassel and Cokato that allow seniors to be as active as they choose to be, from Community Education courses to senior dining.
Both Dassel and Cokato offer senior dining for those who choose to dine in or dine out.
Dassel Senior dining is provided by Lutheran Social Services of Litchfield and is served to those age 60 and over.
Depending on the day, there are approximately 10 seniors who dine in at the Dassel City Hall community room from 11 a.m. to noon. Bingo is offered Wednesday, following the meal.
Meals are $3.50, and a reduced rate is offered for seniors who are income-eligible.
Nettie Bridge of Lutheran Social Services serves the seniors at the hall and delivers meals in Darwin Monday through Friday. Volunteers from Dassel churches deliver meals to Dassel residents.
Bridge encourages seniors to come out for a meal.
“It’s nice social time,” she said.
“We would love to have more people come to lunch,” she said.
To register for a meal, call the day ahead at (320) 275-3096 between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. or leave a message at (866) 974-0464.
Cokato senior dining serves approximately 15 to 20 people, with Cokato Manor providing the meals at Cokato Apartments Number 1 (440 Second Ave.), for $3.25, from noon to 1 p.m.
Meals for senior dining are subsidized by Catholic Charities of St. Cloud. Guests under 60 are also welcome to attend for $6.50 a meal.
Meals on Wheels is provided by Cokato Manor.
For either of Cokato’s services, call a day prior at (320) 286-2758.
There are several ways for seniors to get out and meet new people, have fun, and engage their minds.
Both Dassel and Cokato have senior citizens clubs that get together once a week to play cards and other games.
The Cokato Senior Citizens Club meets every Monday from 1 to 3 p.m., with coffee following, at Cokato Apartments Number 1 (440 Second Ave.) in the community room.
The Dassel Senior Citizens Club is located on Atlantic Avenue and meets every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m.
Currently, there are about 25 members in the Dassel club, but welcomes new members for only $5.
The largest senior gathering for the Dassel-Cokato community is the monthly West Central Christian Seniors, attended by 200 to 250 seniors come from near and far.
Every month, on the third Tuesday, seniors gather at First Baptist Church in Cokato for fellowship, songs, lunch, and a program.
An $8 donation is suggested to cover the cost of a catered meal.
Program topics have included local history, personal stories, creative hobbies, and much more.
Music each month features different artists.
Since the meals are catered, an RSVP is required by calling the Saturday prior to Estelle Rokala at (320) 286-6771 or Eleanor Partridge (320) 274-5460.
There are a variety of opportunities for seniors through Community Education, from AARP driver safety refresher courses to “aquacise” classes.
The most popular classes among seniors have been Monday “aquacise” classes, pottery, and yoga (though not offered in the summer).
Colleen Compton of Community Education is also anticipating the Minnesota State Fair bus trip to be a hit among seniors, which is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 27.
Also, new this summer is a one-time class, “The Aging Brain,” scheduled for Thursday, May 21, on maintaining a healthy brain. “Exercising Your Brain” will begin Tuesday, June 9.
To inquire about classes or to register, call (320) 286-4120.
Transportation is available in the Dassel-Cokato community, making it easier for seniors to get to and fro when it comes to every day activities.
Cokato residents can call River Rider for Cokato transportation at (800) 821-9719 for Monday, Wednesday, or Friday pick-up between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Dassel residents can contact Meeker County Public Transportation by calling (800) 513-7433 for Dassel transportation every Wednesday from 9:30 to 12:15. Other times also available by request.