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Senior center provides a summertime of activities

June 15, 2016
By BARBARA C. BARRETT , The Luminary

MUNCY - For those 60 and older, summer time can be full of activity and and lots of fun when going to the George C. Meck Senior Center in Muncy Township. The center is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging through STEP, Inc. and not only offers a variety of activities throughout the week, but also meals and plenty of volunteer opportunities according to program director, Debby Dowdy.

Lunch is always served around 11:30 and meals on wheels is also provided through the center. Volunteers help deliver the meals on a weekly basis to shut-ins in the area.

The senior center is conveniently located on 50 Fitness Drive behind the East Lycoming YMCA.

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Fun Fridays are popular at the Meck Senior Center in Muncy Township as several relax with coloring activities or cards all day.

Deb Delker from Huntersville said she recently joined the Meck Senior Center and especially enjoys the water aerobics from 8 to 9 each morning.

Dowdy has organized a myriad of activities to stay busy from coloring all day to playing cards, bingo and doing arts and crafts.

"Some of the seniors like to come in and enjoy making things to raise money for the center," said Dowdy.

"Everyone here has been fantastic," added Delker. "It's really nice, very peppy and helpful."

The only requirement is to use the center and help out once in awhile according to STEP, Inc. A special Father's Day luncheon is being planned for this Friday, June 17th with entertainment and gifts for dads. Dowdy likes to make everything special and works at gathering projects and activities that will keep everyone coming back. Friday afternoons are popular for guest speakers and adult coloring. "We call these 'Fun Fridays'!"

Last month Lloyd Wurster from Muncy came and demonstrated the small engines and machines he created with recycled materials, a hobby for him after his retirement. He said he started with a small engine using a lid from a can of baked beans. "I created it just for fun. It is a way to express myself," said Wurster who also holds a Bachelor degree in nutrition. Now he said he likes to invent small engines. He uses pvc pipe fittings, old towel bars from his bathroom and has created 32 toy engines so far, all operated from compressed air. "I used the Boys Handi Book for my inspiration," he told the group and attends a show once a year in York to show off his creations using lots of materials from his home. "My investment has been less than 5 dollars." He is also going to be doing a demonstration at Park Place in November in Williamsport.

Dowdy encourages any senior who has a hobby to bring it to the center and share with others. "We all learn from each other."

"Sometimes we offer a picnic meal during the summer," Dowdy replied. Menus are planned in advance with a variety of meals. Lloyd said he enjoyed ham and bean soup, and a delicious chicken salad with lettuce and BBQ ranch dressing. Menus are available each week at the center as well as a calendar listing of activities. Each day has a special program. Next week's features will include a discussion on heat stress and sun safety tips, a lesson on a variety of cheeses, a trip to the movie theater at the mall, and at month's end a "sweet discussion on chocolate."

Earlier in the month some valuable information was distributed on "mosquito bite prevention" and maintaining a healthy vision.

Another program that is popular at Meck Senior Center is the self care for the ladies. Melissa Farenish from AmeriHealth comes in monthly to help with tips on skin care, eating well and preventing cancer. "Often we put ourselves last," she told them, "but you should take time out of your day to take care of yourself." Farenish brings in nail polish and other products for the ladies to use to pamper themselves. She encourages them to find ways to relax and enjoy themselves. Grace Houseweart from Hughesville said this is one of her favorite activities at the center. "There is a lot of negative things in the news. It is good to come here for something more lighthearted," she said.

Farenish also introduced aromatherapy and its benefits to the members and brought in some essential oils for them to experience. "Some of these oils can be used to help keep stress away, eat well and sleep better."

Finding ways to relax, read or color or just using the computers can be a treat at the senior center any day during the week. "Treat yourself," said Dowdy. "This is an important part of self care."

STEP was recently recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging with the "Silver Award" for outstanding achievements in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).



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