Truxton resident Mary Ann Gotie wasn’t too interested in the old senior center, but when she found out the seniors were using grant funding to design their own programs, she was on board.
“I’m very interested in seeing it reopen for the seniors, to become more active,” Gotie said. “In this area, we’re kind of isolated. It would be nice to have something for us older people to do, especially with the bad weather coming, but more so just for the community of it.”
The center is reopening with a grant from Cortland County’s Area Agency on Aging. The county defunded all of its seniors centers but one in Cortland earlier this year, inviting seniors to apply for grants — either $8,500 or $11,500 — to run centers themselves, although the Truxton center actually shut down at the start of the coronavirus pandemic 19 months ago.
The new center is reopening at noon today, with a free dinner from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The center will be open noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, with activities organized by program director Jill Kraft, paid from the grant.
Kraft runs a grant-funded senior art program in Norwich, and was asked by the town supervisor and his wife earlier this year if she would be interested in running the Truxton senior center’s programs. Kraft was quick to accept because she spends time in the Truxton area and likes it.
“Right now, I’m leaving things open-ended because I want people to come in and tell me what activities they want,” Kraft said. “I know some people come looking to do more physical fitness, more creativity, some people want to just have a place to play cards, cook or socialize.”
Truxton’s new center will offer arts and crafts, free lunch, games and fitness activities, Kraft said.
Gotie said she’s most looking forward to visiting speakers, such as health and nutrition experts.
“You name it, and they’ve got it on the list — it sounds wonderful,” Gotie said.
“It was controlled by the county, but now it’s going to be introduced in a new way that will be as good as the program director wants to make it — she has a lot of initiative, a lot of good ideas. Sky’s the limit.” Gotie said.
“We’re trying to fulfill the need that there is out here,” said town Supervisor Lloyd Sutton Jr. “The need is sometimes just more socialization.”
“This is such an important population of people, and I think they often get overlooked,” Kraft said. “There’s not a lot of things for them to go out and do, but their socialization is what keeps them vibrant. This center will provide something more leisurely in their lives, giving them the opportunity to go out and grab lunch and hang out with people.”
If you go
- When: Noon to 6 p.m. today.
- Where: Truxton United Methodist Church.
- What: Meet the senior center program director, view schedule of events and make suggestions.
- Also: Free to attend and dinner will be provided at 4:30 p.m.