One of the benefits of being city manager is interaction with the public and, more importantly, with the local organizations that support our city with their work and services to residents. One of those groups is the Tehachapi Senior Center, an organization that provides a multitude of services to our senior citizen community. Through a partnership with the city of Tehachapi, they operate the Senior Center located at 500 E. F St.
The first Wednesday at noon every month they have a board meeting that’s open to the public. This is where the important business is conducted. It includes setting the menu for their monthly social and fundraising dinner and plenty of time for good-natured ribbing and fun. I’ll be honest; of the many board meetings I attend, this is one of the most entertaining and encouraging meetings I have the pleasure of being at. This group is so involved in the senior center operations, the health of their members and providing services to the community; it’s refreshing for sure.
Lewis Brown serves as the president and is involved in everything around the center. Nobody lives there but sometimes I don’t think he actually goes home. There always seems to be a project Mr. Brown is working on to make the center even better. The city contributes as well with maintenance of the facility and sometimes purchasing new equipment for their kitchen when needed. There’s a great board of directors behind Mr. Brown including vice president Gwladys Peterson, treasurer Judith Kennedy, secretary Maggie Keeler, directors Sally Errecart, Louise O’Donnell, Carolyn Scott, Nathan Walton, Vicki Tones, Sandie Shultis and alternates Kaelene Swanson and Linda Morgan. Patty Scott is the office manager at the Senior Center and can be reached at 822-6255 Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
I can’t say enough about the offerings this group helps facilitate. There are daily activities Monday through Friday at the center which include dominoes, line dancing, yoga, cards and other classes. Additionally, there is lunch served daily in partnership with the Kern County Aging and Adult Services department. The suggested donation is $3 for those over 60 years of age and $6 for those under 60. They ask that a reservation be made by calling 822-6255 so they can ensure they have enough food for everyone.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a monthly fundraising dinner held on the third Friday evening of every month. This meal gets a lot of special attention by the board of directors who consider every detail and combination of food for the attendees to make sure it’s the best meal possible. This month’s menu includes meatloaf and mashed potatoes and will be held at 5 p.m. Feb. 21. Dinner is $10 per person and reservations are required as well.
There are plenty of other resources available at the center including the monthly “Scoop” newsletter that includes articles for seniors, daily menus, activities, recipes and businesses that offer senior discounts and coupons. It’s all put together by the staff under editor Gene Dallachie with the intent of providing the help seniors need. Again, it’s an encouraging endeavor put together by these wonderful people.
As with all of our community organizations, I can’t thank them enough for their help, support and companionship they provide the city and one another. This is a great organization that I would encourage you to either support with donations, or participate in if you are a senior citizen yourself. I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy by doing either.
Greg Garrett is Tehachapi's city manager. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.