More than 250 people of all ages crowded into the Edmonds Senior Center’s upstairs banquet room on Friday evening to hear U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell wish the Center a happy 45th anniversary.
Cantwell opened by recalling how the center was founded in 1968.
The previous year, the City of Edmonds had solicited suggestions from its citizens for ways to improve the community. Ideas ranged from expanded horseshoe pits, to an equestrian center, to a smallbore rifle shooting range.
“The Jaycees put forth the idea of a senior center to serve the needs of our older citizens,” she said. “And thanks to the strong support of Mayor Harve Harrison and the City Council, today we have a senior center that has become a model for other communities.”
Cantwell went on to stress how over the years, the Edmonds Senior Center has instituted a range of innovative programs that continue to lead the way in providing for its members.
“In addition to traditional programs such as field trips and lectures, the Edmonds Center has been a leader in providing comprehensive health and wellness programs,” she said. “These go far beyond providing help to members experiencing health issues. These programs actually help you maintain good health so you don’t get sick in the first place.” Examples of these senior center programs include a pioneering hot lunch program that began in 1970, and more recently naturopathic health care through Bastyr University, aerobics and an array other programs and services designed to help people stay active and healthy.
Cantwell borrowed a quote from George Bernard Shaw, who famously said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing,” providing an apt segue to her closing remark:
“Never forget that dreams are renewable, no matter what your age. Special thanks to all who’ve made this center a shining example of what commitment to the community really means…and never stop playing.”
— Story and photo by Larry Vogel