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Westerly Senior Citizens Center Endowment Fund
By Jean Cohoon / April 24, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...

“Socialization is so important,” Don Reynolds, executive director of the Westerly Senior Citizens Center, says of the services his organization provides. Speaking of an 86-year-old member, he shares, “She comes every day. She doesn’t get out otherwise, and it’s a good way for her to see other people. Those are the people we’re most proud of helping.”

And while at the senior center, she and the 200 to 300 others who attend on an average day enjoy a wealth of activities, from billiards to knitting, from yoga to book discussions, and from bingo to bowling, to name a few. The Center also provides meals, transportation, social services, and health programs.

A welcoming environment is communicated through the Center’s website: “(It’s) a wonderful place to make new friends, enjoy a delicious hot meal, learn a new skill, take a day trip, volunteer, and/or partake of the wide variety of activities.”

Gerry Trottier joined the Center in 2002 and now is a member of the board of directors. “I took a class in German and then I got involved in all kinds of things. There’s a very good attitude here. They’re open to new ideas, and many of the activities are free,” he says. Gerry leads one of the Center’s weekly bridge groups and notes, “Bridge is something that keeps the mind sharp.”

Members are residents of Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton, as well as Pawcatuck, CT, and must be 50 or older, with the oldest member currently 101. The Center is funded by fundraising, the Town of Westerly, a state grant, and membership fees of $25 per year; it also receives federal funds for the meal site.

In operation since 1983, the Center has been building its endowment since 2009 when a member’s family made a gift which the board of directors chose to use to establish its endowment. The board elected to transfer the endowment to the Foundation to obtain better long term investment returns. “The endowment supplements our budget from year to year. It’s a way to look to the future for a source of income,” Don states.

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