What do you think of when you hear the words “senior center”? Do you think of dance competitions? Dinner dances? Container gardening? Bus trips? You should if you are referring to the Senior Center at the Wright Manor on South Main Road.
Harley Bobby, the Activities Director for the center for the past several years, has worked hard to make sure that what goes on at the center reflects the active lifestyle of today’s seniors, rather than the stereotypical picture one sees in their head when they hear the word “senior center”.
“Too many people think they are ‘too young’ for the center,” remarks Harley. “They immediately think that it’s just people sitting around playing Bingo. While we do have traditional activities like Bingo and card games, the center is way more active than that.”
Harley says that there is a very wide variety of ages and lifestyles from the thirty to fifty members who come by the center daily, ranging in age from sixty to eighty years old. One of the members is an active skydiver.
“Seniors now have what we think of as a much ‘younger’ lifestyle. People just don’t realize how active it really is,” adds Harley.
To accommodate such a diverse clientele, harley has been working hard to schedule a wide variety of activities. There is a schedule of speakers on anything from nutrition to cooking demonstrations to container and herb gardening classes from Penn State –something for any hobby for any age. There are dance lessons, crafting, knitting and painting. There is an upcoming environmentalist scheduled to speak on a variety of topics. Harley says the center is always looking for volunteers or suggestions in their areas of their expertise.
“We are not who you think we are,” explains Harley. “We’ll try to schedule anything that is of interest to our members.”
It isn’t just about a diversity of topics, but also diversity of activities and entertainment. The center has sponsored bus trips to Mount Airy Casino and New York City, among others. There is a daily Zumba class, and an exercise and ski club, as well as various entertainment from acoustic sound to a Barbershop Quartet.
Even if all you someone would like is a hot lunch and some company, lunch is available via preorder every day at noon. For those seniors who are still working full or part time jobs, they can hop the express line on their lunch break. The menu is posted in local papers or online. County transportation is also available to those sixty five years and older and is very inexpensive.
The center also sponsors several events throughout the year. There is a Woman’s Club Tea scheduled for April 16 and a Health Fair scheduled for May 10. There is also a dinner dance in May at Genetti’s, with a “Swing into Spring” dance contest for either Swing, Tango or Line Dancing.
And for those 55 and older who still think that the Mountaintop Senior Center has nothing to offer them, Harley encourages people to come by and check out the schedule of activities as there is always something going on. The center is open Monday through Friday from 10-2. Folks must be at least fifty-five years old to join and membership for the center is four dollars per year.
Anyone interested in participating, either as a member or a volunteer can call the center for more information at 868-8517.