Companionship and Activities Keep the Senior Center Hopping

Whether it’s cooking classes, movie nights or flower arranging, there is always something interesting happening at the Easton Senior Center.

The center offers all sorts of weekly activities and classes with friendly volunteers offering their expertise and companionship.

“I think that the Eastern Senior Center is the best thing in town because it’s such an oasis for people who are looking for friendships and conversation,“ said Cheryl Constand, one of the center’s volunteers. “I just love being with people and I’m a people person, so it’s a good fit for me.”

Classes and activities at the center range from the practical to just plain fun. Sure there’s trivia to be played, but there’s also a tai chi, weight training and vegetarian cooking class.  There’s even a class on how to download an app, and on estate planning.  A few weeks back, First Selectman David Bindelglass and Police Chief Richard Doyle had a breakfast talk with members on hurricane preparedness.

Constand, Althea Falco, Slavica Prevelige, and Maryellen Diana are long time volunteers who want to make a difference in people’s lives. The women have been volunteering at the center for years, some for over 15. 

Althea Falco, Cheryl Constand, Slavica Prevelige, and Maryellen Diana. Photo by Rick Falco

Diana, who teaches a popular floral arranging class at the center, has been volunteering for well over a decade. She became involved in the center when her 100-year old neighbor suggested she check it out and volunteer at the front desk.

“I love every second of participating and being here,” Diana said. “Everyone here just seems to love each other and it’s a happy place. I really feel – and it’s been said before and it may sound selfish – but I receive more than I give.”

The center’s October program and newsletter is jam-packed with activities. Later this month, members will view the movie “Julie & Julia” about famed French chef Julia Child.  A class on wild birds will help members prepare their yard for winter bird feeding.

Easton Senior Center volunteer, Maryellen Diana, instructs seniors on floral design. Photo by Rick Falco.

“You come in and everybody’s got a smile,” Prevelige said. “They’re doing things that they like to do, whether it’s painting, playing cards or whatever. And that atmosphere is just wonderful.”

Members of the center come from Easton, Stratford, and Fairfield.  The volunteer members’ commitment extends to the greater community, said Val Buckley, the center’s long-time director.

Volunteer knitters are busy knitting gloves and hats to be shipped to Ukraine and the center is also preparing for its upcoming annual Thanksgiving food drive for the needy, Buckley said.

Falco can’t stress enough the joy and satisfaction she gets from volunteering. It has so enriched her life that she thinks volunteer work should be mandatory in high schools.

“I think I’m going to get a lot of pushback on that, but I think it should be encouraged,” she said.

Visitors are welcome to stop in for a tour and to pick up a schedule. The center’s latest newsletter can also be accessed on the town’s website by clicking here

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