Senior Center open house welcomes all to visit Monroe’s ‘hidden gem’

The Monroe Senior Center is located at 235 Cutlers Farm Road.

MONROE, CT — Visitors of the Monroe Senior Center can participate in a book club, yoga and other fun programs, go on day and overnight trips, attend picnics and apply for financial and transportation services.

Participants in the Bill’s Senior Dine program can apply for a dine card good for $4 meals at Bill’s Drive-In for an an extensive list of menu items.

The Monroe Senior Center is hosting an open house, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its current location at 235 Cutlers Farm Road, this Saturday, Sept. 30, from 2 to 4 p.m.

“The Senior Center is a hidden gem within our town,” said Kimberly A. Cassia, director of Community & Social Services. “Many people age 55-and-older still don’t know we’re here. We want to invite them in to see all we have to offer: fun activities, transportation, programs and trips.”

A one year membership is $15 for residents and $20 for nonresidents.

“We offer free programs and some are done on grants as well,” Cassia said. “Chair yoga, art and caregiver programs are all made possible thanks to grants with the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging & Independent Living.”

Prior to the construction of the current building, the Monroe Senior Center used to be housed at Masuk High School. Story boards will show photos with information on the history of the center.

On Saturday, visitors can meet center staff and instructors for various activities, including exercise, crafts, cards and language instruction.

Laura Palmieri, nutrition coordinator of CW Solutions, will attend, along with members of the Commission On Aging, to speak with visitors and answer questions.

The transportation coordinator will talk about transportation services for those who are interested. Other program leaders will include Spanish teacher Ines Posada, Leslie Gosselin of the Book Club, and group leaders for Knit and Crochet and Quilting.

“Jean Gardino, our trip coordinator, will be here to answer questions on trips,” Cassia said. “Art Gottlieb, a licensed clinical social worker and certified senior advisor, does our caregiver sessions and history programs.”

Cassia said people will be playing bocce outside, while visitors can tour the facility and meet with staff and group leaders in different rooms. An Elderly Services brochure will be available, along with copies of the Monroe Senior Center’s monthly newsletter.

Refreshments will be donated by Spadaccino and Leo P. Gallagher Funeral Home.

Bill’s Senior Dine

Bill’s Senior Dine is a program open to anyone age 60-and-older. Participants fill out a Form 5 and buy the number of meals they want at $4 each. The meals go on their dine card.

When they go to Bill’s Drive-In, 431 Monroe Turnpike, they can choose from the Senior Dine menu’s breakfast, lunch and dinner options and pay for it with their card. The restaurant will tell users how many meals they have left on their card. They can always add more meals to it at the Senior Center.

The restaurant is paid $4 per meal from the cards with the rest funded by a federal grant under Title 3 of the Older Americans Act applied for by CW Solutions, which administers the program.

The Senior Center also offers a similar Senior Café program on Wednesdays, good for a café at the center.

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