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New Carbondale senior center looking for programming ideas

Photo courtesy Randy Vanderhurst
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CARBONDALE, Colorado ” It’s taken a lot of hard work, but Carbondale’s Senior Matters group finally has a place to call home in the new Third Street Center.

Now they’re busy brainstorming ideas as to what kinds of senior-oriented programs can be offered at the new facility.

The former Carbondale Elementary School building is being converted into a community nonprofits center, and the fledgling seniors group was among the first in line.



“Even though we don’t have a lot going on there right now, at least we’re off the street and have an address and telephone number,” quipped Virginia Sterrett, who has been the major inspiration behind the project for the past two years.

“We have a lot of seniors here who we need to accommodate in some way,” she said. “This will be like a home away from home for a lot of people. It’s a winner as far as I’m concerned.”



Randy Vanderhurst is a former Carbondale mayor and retired veterinarian who stepped up to serve as vice chairman of the Senior Matters group.

“People are getting really excited about the possibilities,” he said.

Senior Matters has a $10,000 grant application pending before the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments that will help purchase computers, tables, chairs and other equipment for the center.

Currently, a bridge club that Sterrett and several of her friends began in the mid-1980s is meeting every Wednesday evening at the senior center. Other than that, they group is reaching out to the larger community for programming ideas.

“We’re really just shopping around to see what people would be interested in,” Vanderhurst said.

Discussions are ongoing with the Garfield County senior meals program to offer one meal a week out of the center. Nutrition and health presentations are also possible, as well as scrapbooking and yoga classes geared toward seniors.

“I’d personally like to have some of the 10th Mountain Division survivors come in give presentations, and talk about things that are relevant to seniors,” Vanderhurst said. “It would be a great way to preserve that history.”

Working with students from the nearby schools, there could also be computer and technology classes for seniors, he said.

Senior Matters is applying for a Carbondale Rotary grant as well to purchase a Nintendo Wii system for the center.

“Everybody I’ve talked to says the system is wonderful for seniors,” Vanderhurst said. “We’re looking at anything that can keep seniors active.”

A May 2 open house is being planned for the new senior center. Senior Matters has a website at http://www.seniormatters.org. Programming ideas can be sent to randyvan@comcast.net, or call 963-2379.

Contact John Stroud: 384-9160

jstroud@postindependent.com


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