Lots of fun at the Morgan Hill Senior Center

By Dorie Sugay

Dorie Sugay

The staff and the volunteers at the Senior Center (aka “The Hub”) were so busy preparing for the holidays you’d think they’d slow down when the last of the colorful decorations came down. But no, not this team.

They are always working a step ahead of the crowd that visits “The Hub” every day. Oh yeah, for the new year, it really seems more appropriate to call it “The Hub” rather than the Senior Center because this place is where things are happening … and happening all the time. It is “the hub.” And frankly, if you were buzzin’ around there, you would not be thinking of the old traditional definition of “senior” because the people there are on the move, many are having the time of their life. There is so much energy in the air, even those who have been journeying through the slow lanes of life are getting energized.

Already in January, a World War II hero came to share his experiences, The Hub has offered classes such as “Learn to Play Bridge in a Day,” “Beginning Drawing,” and “All About Photos” (organizing your photos on your smart phones).

On Jan. 31, there was a bike ride on the Coyote Creek Trail. And as if they did not have enough to work on the past few months, the dynamic team is having a free Valentine’s Day Dance Feb. 14 which you really ought to attend. (It’d be fun to people watch. If you’re not one to dance, people-watching can be fun or just meet and make new friends.)

And there’s more. Make a note on your calendar for March 14 for the Harvey Barrett Rotary Lunch — and it’s free. Get your tickets at the Senior Center mid to late February.

March 28 is the Youth Action Council (YAC) 50-Plus Ball. The Youth Action Council works hard to make this a very special event and this year you will enjoy the South Bay Swing Band music, dance performances, the meal, desserts and drinks. Tickets are $25 and available at the Senior Center or the Centennial Recreation Center.  And by the way, if you can’t make it to the class that teaches you how to organize your photos in your smart phones — there is talk of more classes in the spring so be on the lookout for these classes!

But it’s not just about fun at The Hub. You will be amazed at the support services available to older adults as part of The Hub’s commitment to Morgan Hill’s designation as an “Age Friendly City.” For example, the AARP tax volunteers are taking Thursday appointments from now through April 9 if you need help with your taxes.

We don’t need a new year to start something or try something new. But through the holidays, if you found yourself enjoying social interactions or reacting positively to the merrier ways people interfaced with you or you’ve come to realize that you could use a resource of information or support — think of that as a hint that perhaps you need to open the door and reach out.

Many studies have come to the same conclusion — that social isolation is not good for your health and we know by now, “no man is an island.” One individual who opened that door is enjoying herself: Georgia regularly goes to The Hub.  She uses the VTA for transportation.

“I live alone and I finally went there, not knowing what to expect,” she said. “There are many nice people there. The staff is great, the volunteers are very courteous and friendly and the people who go there really are wonderful to be around.

“On Mondays I attend the Water Coloring class. Many of those who attend have taken classes before; this was my first time. But the teacher and the class are very welcoming, even though I am new, the group is very friendly. I love it. I make sure when I am there that I eat the delicious lunch and enjoy talking to others. Their cooks are volunteers, but they really care and the food is really good.  Lunch starts at noon. I love going there. I did not know I would like it this much, but I do.”

Georgia says she loves going to The Hub so much that she schedules other activities around the programs there that she attends.

You can start with a tour. Debbie Vasquez, who manages the center, or Denise Melroy, program coordinator, would gladly show you around. Or you can just drop by, buzz around and see for yourself why many enjoy going to The Hub.

The Senior Center is at 171 W. Edmundson Ave. Check out all the fun we’re having at this wonderful resource for our community.

Dorie Sugay is the owner and executive director of Visiting Angels in Gilroy whose mission is to help older adults in Santa Clara and San Benito counties continue to live in their own homes or receive personalized care in a facility. She wrote this column for Morgan Hill Life. Contact her at [email protected]

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