90 volunteers feted by Athol Senior Center

  • The Athol Council on Aging annually recognizes volunteers for their dedicated support of the many programs it offers. Athol Council on Aging

  • Athol Senior Citizens luncheon. —Courtesy/Nancy Lagimoniere

  • Athol Senior Citizens luncheon. —Courtesy/Nancy Lagimoniere

  • Athol Senior Citizens luncheon. —Courtesy/Nancy Lagimoniere

  • Athol Senior Citizens luncheon. —Courtesy/Nancy Lagimoniere

  • Athol Senior Citizens luncheon. —Courtesy/Nancy Lagimoniere

Staff Writer
Published: 7/2/2019 10:00:16 PM
Modified: 7/2/2019 10:00:05 PM

ATHOL — A volunteer recognition luncheon with about 90 people was held last Friday by the Athol Council on Aging at the Athol Senior Center. Cathy Savoy, Executive Director of the C.O.A., said the community members were recognized for their help with different programs and activities that take place at the Center. A meal was prepared and served by Carr’s Affordable Catering. The luncheon was sponsored by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

Deacon Bryan Lagimoniere offered the blessing prior to the meal. Special guests included Lucas McDiamid, district director for Sen. Anne M. Gobi, Melissa Eaton, legislative aide to Rep. Susannah Whipps, Athol Police Chief Craig Lundgren, Athol Fire Chief Joseph Guarnera, Leonard Venett, president of the Friends of the Council on Aging, and Mark Wright, executive director of the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce.

Savoy said each year an informative program revolving around the community is presented for the event. She said this year’s luncheon was “a great venue for introducing our new chief of police and fire chief.”

The Center has volunteers of all ages, from children to one who is 100 years old. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to instill volunteerism in youth,” Savoy said. Collectively, there are about 160 volunteers throughout the year, some who work, some retired, all with a variety of life skills and experience looking to give back to the community.

Savoy said the needs and expectations of the seniors utilizing the services is changing. “This is an active generation of Baby Boomers. Our eyes are always on looking toward meeting their needs.”

She said the Center is a “very busy,” conveniently located place, offering social, health and educational programming facilitated by credentialed instructors and professionals.

“We couldn’t offer the level of service we do here through the Council and at the Senior Center without the assistance of volunteers,” Savoy said.

Council on Aging services and sponsored programs include:

Angel Gift Program, blood pressure clinics and screening, Board of Directors, C.O.A., Friends of the C.O.A., bingo, Brown Bag, card games, Christmas Day Dinner, educational forums, farm share program, flu clinics, foot screening, fuel assistance, information and referral services, the Local Arts Cultural Council, lunch and movies, mah jongg, music, dance and variety, nutrition/congregate meals, painting workshops, ping pong, quilting sessions, RMV online assistance, Senior Center activities, Creative Arts program, employment training, senior fitness program, senior tax abatement program, transportation, SHINE program, SNAP food assistance, tax assistance, Wellness for Life program, woodcarving classes, and yoga.

Program Coordinator Judy Thayer said, “people are surprised that we do so many things here.”

Savoy said she would like to build up the senior dining program supplemented by LifePath and currently offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and some Thursdays with meals recommended by the FDA for healthy older adults, and encourages those who haven’t tried them yet to stop by the Center and pick up a menu. The price is donation-based $3.

The Athol Senior Center is located at 82 Freedom St. For more information, visit www.atholcouncilonaging.orgor call 978-249-8986.

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