Older adults who participate in senior center programs not only delay the onset of chronic conditions, but also measurably improve their physical, social and mental well-being, according to research.
And Interlochen now has its own center.
As part of the expansion of the Grand Traverse Senior Center Network, the Golden Fellowship Hall now serves as a focal point for older adults in that area.
The fellowship hall is a multipurpose center where people can come together for companionship, learning opportunities, enjoyment, exercising, dancing and sports.
An earlier incarnation of the senior center in the 1980s dwindled and eventually disbanded; the hall went back to the township, which turned it into a community center.
Green Lake Township Supervisor Paul Biondo says they're building a sense of community through the fellowship hall.
The township was able to redo the sewer system at the community center, put in all new furnaces, add air conditioning and pave the parking lot. They will be adding a 60-inch LED flat panel wall television screen, a 40-inch television and better speakers. They've already painted the walls, making it look fresh and bright. The next step is to strip the floor down and start over with new coats of wax, and then replace the baseboards.
"I was impressed with the experience of taking my mother to the Senior Center in Traverse City, feeling very welcome," Biondo said. "I just thought it was great. And here I am now -- incorporating their program into our community center."
Interlochen has a lot of lakes, the Interlochen Center for the Arts and one of the largest state parks in Michigan.
Green Lake Township received a Community Growth Grant from the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. The grant will allow Interlochen to focus on the future growth of the commercial corridor and residential development at Interlochen Corners, making it a walkable community.
"It's a long-term process to get the proper laws and zoning in place," Biondo said. "This community will outlive us, so we have to plan ahead."
Sharon Neumann coordinates the Senior Center Network at Interlochen, which offers computer instruction, watercolor lessons by Charles Murphy, well-being, fitness and dance programs, educational topics, trips and travel. They meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For more information on participating at the center in Interlochen, call the Senior Center Network at 922-4911 or email email@example.com.
Kathleen Bellaw Gest is a local freelance writer. For more about the Traverse City Senior Center, go to www.tcseniorcenter.com.