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Wii! Its a blast bowling for seniors at Manteca center
Bowlers, from left, Frank Faias, John Henry, and Bryl Knutson share some laughs. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin
Yes, there are bingo games. You may even find someone crocheting. But don’t assume that’s all the Manteca Senior Center is about.
“This isn’t your grandmother’s senior center,” noted John Boore, the recreation supervisor who oversees the Manteca Senior Center at 295 Cherry Lane.
If you don’t believe that, drop by the senior center any Thursday at 1 p.m. to take in the newest venture – a bowling league. Bowling may not sound that exciting but this isn’t any bowling league. It is a Wii bowling league.
The league not only filled up with 30 players but there is a waiting list of six already for the next league starting in mid-March. If other players show interest, additional leagues will be added.
“It is a lot better than what you’d play at home,” said Boore. “At home you play on a TV. Here we project it on a 24-foot screen complete with all of the sounds.”
Boore was a bit surprised at how enthusiastically that seniors have embraced the Wii bowling league.
There is also the option on the third Thursday of each month for golf and tennis Wii play as well.
Boore said one player admitted he passed when his grandkids wanted him to play Wii bowling with them at home. But after a few sessions, the senior said he plans to take his grandkids up on their challenge the next time “and surprise them with what grandpa can do.”
The Wii bowling league isn’t the only thing that might surprise those who haven’t dropped by the senior center in awhile.
Last year, a state-of-the-art fitness center was added complete with a cardio theater. There are more than 200 seniors signed up. All that is required is a one dollar registration fee that is good for ever.
There are a wide variety of fitness classes ranging from yoga to tai chi that have nominal month charges. Other endeavors run the gamut from excursions, table pool, and classes such as for genealogy, book chats, and, of course, bingo.
A number of social activities also take place during the month including dances and potlucks.
Anyone 50 and older is invited to drop by Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There are programs, though, that start earlier and take place after hours.
On any given day, between 200 and 250 seniors drop by the center. A number stay for lunch that has a nominal $2 donation.
The strong draw of the senior center also means that it will escape the “black out” Fridays every other week for city offices starting March 1 that is designed to improve access for the public by extending work hours on Mondays through Thursday.
“We’re the only city operation in Manteca I think you’ll find that 200 plus people want to go to each day,” Boore said. “That’s definitely not the case with the finance office where there may be more people going each day but they’re paying bills.”