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Senior center marks silver anniversary

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Found in the center’s ceramics room Lois Aldrin, left, and Barbara Lofing are working on their creative projects from an egg that is getting several coats of Nayco crystals to a decorative cup that...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED March 12, 2013 12:35 a.m.

The Ripon Senior Center is celebrating its 25th anniversary this Thursday and will have their doors open to all comers from 4 until 6 p.m. at the corner of Wilma Avenue and Fourth Street.

Some 240 of its members over 50 years old have come to enjoy the camaraderie of other seniors at the daily noon lunches to making use of the exercise room, shooting pool to computer instruction and ceramics and art sections off the main lobby.

Artist Anne Endres and her husband Bob said they joined the center just last year, unaware of everything it offered to seniors under its roof. It’s the fun of getting together every day and exchanging stories and taking advantage of the extras the center has to offer, they chimed.

Bob said he had been using the exercise equipment at a commercial center in the community until he found how welcome he was in the seniors’ exercise room – and at no cost. John Sonkey who just turned 90 has lived in Ripon since 1927. Saying he doesn’t cook is a great motivator bringing him to the center at noon every day.

“I don’t know how to cook and the camaraderie is great,” Sonkey said, having worked at the Nestle Company in Ripon for 43 years. John Thompson and his wife Betty were there for lunch on Monday. Thompson just turned 100 recently.

Russ and Ann Neumann are regulars as well. Russ who came to the area in the early ’60 with the Dana Corporation said he enjoys lunch at the center every day and his wife come with him a couple days each week.

“I like the food, I like the friendship along with the exercise room and playing pool,” he quipped.

The Ripon center was featured recently on Good Morning Sacramento with Alan Sanchez. Director Teri Silva said she had been putting up a sign on a pole downtown advertising the seniors’ cream puff sale when the television field truck pulled up next to her and Sanchez asked about those delicacies.

“The cream puffs were a big hit during the festival,” she said. “We made $1,650 toward a new stove for our kitchen. We made 340 and the word just got around by word of mouth and people came into the center.”

Silva said the Calamco Co. in Stockton donated $800 toward a new stainless steel sink that the city is about to install in their kitchen. Silva noted that one of the women who volunteers in the kitchen told her husband about the need for the new sink. The fact that he works for Calamco apparently led to the donation.

The cost of membership is $15 a year, but seniors don’t have to be a member to walk through the front door and enjoy the activities. A suggested donation of $2 per meal is the norm with checks made payable to the Department of Aging. Lunch is served at11:40 a.m. Monday through Friday with reservations required. A signup sheet is available on Wednesdays for the following week.

Meals on Wheels are also available for home-bound seniors. For more information call Teri at 499-7441. The menu varies every day from friend chicken with mashed potatoes, lima beans, corn and a pineapple dessert to lasagna, meatballs, and spinach with garlic bread, juice dessert and milk.

Weekly activities include Yoga with instructor Jeanne Ramie on Mondays at 9:30 an Gentle Yoga and hour later. Pinochle and ceramics are a big hit on Tuesday mornings. Oil painting instruction is held at 10 on Wednesdays with Bingo at 1 p.m. A movie is on tap every Friday at 12:30 p.m.

A fellowship potluck is on the calendar on the fourth Monday of the month at 6 p.m. A brown bag program is the second and fourth Wednesdays and a mobile farmers’ market is set for the second Thursdays of the month at 10.

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