Cole Camp Senior Center celebrating 35th anniversary

Date: April 15, 2019 | Category: News

The Care Connection Cole Camp Senior Center is celebrating its 35th anniversary as the place where older adults gather to dine, visit and learn.
The celebration will be from 1 to 3 p.m. April 23, remembering the center’s official opening and the service of its first meal in the Lions Club building.
The event, which is open to the public, will include cake and ice cream, reminiscing, a slide show, photo albums – and prizes.
The center still serves as a hub for adults 60 and older, who gather lunch, regular game nights, art classes, puzzle contests, beading classes, pick-up pinochle games, EnhanceFitness, armchair exercises, blood pressure screenings, ice cream cones and root beer floats.
Center Coordinator Janis Garren said perhaps the most important thing older adults will find is friendship.
“Often, when a spouse dies, people will tend to hibernate. They need to get out and mingle with people. We try and get people in here to socialize and have fellowship,” Garren said. “The senior center helps them come out of their shell. People find friends here.”
The center also provides volunteer opportunities for older adults, who help serve meals, clean up, and serve as receptionists.
Care Connection Care Manager Dee Locke serves the center to provide information and resources that are available to seniors, including Medicare counseling, benefits screenings, and education on topics ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to healthy living.
The idea of the senior center originated with a senior citizens club that met monthly in Cole Camp in the basement of a local church. The District III Area Agency on Aging (now dba Care Connection for Aging Services) approached the citizens’ group with the idea of creating a senior center and nutrition program to benefit older adults.
After much discussion, the senior center opened in the Lion’s Club building on April 23, 1984, as the first satellite operation of the agency, according to a history in the center’s archives. The meals were brought to Cole Camp from the Warsaw Senior Center. Meal service peaked at about 100 meals and prompted Cole Camp to have its own kitchen and cooks for some time.
Over the next three decades, the center served thousands of meals and provided countless hours of volunteer opportunities, programs and fellowship opportunities.
As one of 22 senior centers serving 13 West Central Missouri counties operated by Care Connection, the center provides opportunities to create positive aging experiences. Care Connection’s vision is that the people we serve will live with maximum independence, respect and dignity. For more information, call the center at 660-668-2352 or visit online.