The Alcosta Senior and Community Center will celebrate National Senior Center Month with an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 26.
Showcasing the beautiful 8-acre property with its gardens, spacious meeting rooms, comfy lounging area and high-tech facility, the free open house will feature tours, class demonstrations and information about the incredible selection of programs offered at the site and is open to all adults 55 and older and their families.
There's energy in the air, a constant buzz of activity at the center and not a rocking chair to be found. Instead there are art classes and fitness classes from aerobics to zumba, karaoke, line dancing, table tennis and lots more.
Opened in 1992 and originally called the San Ramon Senior Center, the center underwent a grand expansion in 2008 and reopened with it new name. It's a healthy and vibrant community financially as well with a pool of about 120 dedicated volunteers and four staff members and funding from the San Ramon Senior Foundation and City of San Ramon that have supported, among other things, the lunch and bus programs and purchased furnishings for the kitchen and meeting rooms. Proceeds from the booth at the annual Art and Wind Festival and the monthly senior breakfasts not only raise funds as well but also boost community spirit.
"We wouldn't survive without our volunteers," says Joan Ernst, Senior Advisory Committee member and co-chair with Shirley Ernest of the open house event. She adds "there are so many ways to serve and bring talents to the center."
Nido Paras, a volunteer coordinator who spearheaded the Trailblazer hiking group at the senior center three years ago, says his program has grown from 33 people on a hike to more than 70 participants.
It's the diverse selection of programs offered at the center and the people who make this senior center vibrant, agrees Ernst. Also, unique to the senior center is the multigenerational influence and experiences offered.
Local and tech-savvy teens volunteer their time to share their knowledge with the seniors about computers, smartphones and more. Dougherty Valley High School's Teens for Seniors provide the music for the senior breakfasts and also invite the seniors to attend debates on current events. The ongoing Senior Scholars program matches seniors with young students for homework help and other tutoring.
Because word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, Ernst and other volunteers such as Jason Wu and Yaeko Kennelly as well as Recreation Coordinator Louise Weber hope this open house gives residents an opportunity to take a tour, learn about the programs and discover that the senior center is not a care facility but an active place tuned in to wellness and health.
"Statistics have shown that spending time at home alone is not good for seniors' health," says Ernst.
"This is a small community and extended family," adds Paras. "Nothing makes people in this age group happier than having that connection," he says.
In addition to classes, the senior center offers day trips, home-delivered meals, a senior lunch program, express van transportation, grocery shopping shuttle and day trips and hosts an annual fashion show, holiday boutique, ice cream social and monthly Sunday breakfast. There is a complete library, computer room, garden plots for rent and a beautiful parklike setting for meeting friends, lounging or picking up a game of bocce.
For a full list of classes and programs offered, visit www.SanRamonRecGuide.com. The Senior Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 9300 Alcosta Blvd. or at 925-973-3250.
Contact Monica Lander at email@example.com.