After 12 years of constant use, the Gladys L. Lemmons Senior Center is getting a much-needed freshening up in the form of new furnishings.
“The city has done an amazing job of taking care of the senior center but after 12 years things wear out,” said Frank Clark, President of the Oakdale Senior Center Foundation. “We’ve identified $10,000 in replacement needs within the next year.”
Of those items needing replacing were, new computers and printers, new televisions, and a refurbishing of the billiards tables.
“We identified every need in the senior center and created a program of replacement needs,” said Clark.
Linda Royalty, Senior Center Coordinator said, “I think the computer replacement and billiard table refurbishing will have the biggest impact. The computers were running really slow and the billiard tables were looking pretty shabby.”
For many seniors, access to a computer is a boon when otherwise owning a computer would be cost-prohibitive. As for the billiard tables, they get so much use the bumper padding had nearly completely worn off.
For the past two years the foundation, which is seated with nine members on the board, has donated $10,000 to the senior center to aid with operational costs for the center. The money has enabled the senior center to keep fees low and affordable for the seniors who depend upon the resources and amenities offered through the facility.
“We see about 80 people a day,” Royalty said of the traffic that flows through the Senior Center. “We have 50 volunteers and one staff member that handle the day-to-day operations and once a month we hold a dinner.”
The Senior Center has long been a source of pride for Oakdale and Clark would like to see that reputation go untarnished.
“The Senior Center really is the shining jewel of Oakdale, a gem,” Clark said.
The foundation held a fundraiser for the center three years ago and has plans to hold the next fundraiser next year.
Items on the wish list for the center include some capital improvement projects, such as redesigning the patio area.
“It’s a wonderful facility but there’s no shade,” Clark said.
Other needs include a new and updated Bingo board as the current board, which is used often, was inherited from another agency and is ready for replacement.
But whether the needs are big or small, the community has a way of making it happen, said Clark.
“That’s what’s incredible about Oakdale. If you have a need, the community steps up,” he said.
Anyone interested in donating to the senior center, can send donations directly to:
Oakdale Senior Center Foundation, 450 E. A St., Oakdale, CA 95361.