Obetz Senior Center is back!


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
It is lunchtime at the Obetz community center and longtime senior center member Rosemarie Knight (left) takes advantage of one of the meals served by coordinator Mel Ross (right).

Senior citizens can meet face-to-face again—without masks required —at the Obetz Community Center where hot lunches are served twice a week and laughter can be heard from game tables throughout Stewart Hall.

“We reopened for senior lunches on June 3,” said coordinator Mel Ross, who kept the center’s home lunch delivery program up and running while older residents were confined to the four walls of their homes when the center shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 16, 2020.

The village of Obetz also continued to operate the food pantry throughout the pandemic.

All COVID-19 mandates and guidelines were dropped by the 2021 opening date, but members are encouraged to take whatever actions deemed necessary to make themselves comfortable, such as wearing a mask. Workers also continue to thoroughly clean the building.

Before the pandemic hit last year, there were 27 members of the senior center. Currently, there are 22 members.

“Some current members are new faces,” said Ross. “Sadly, we had a couple deaths and illnesses that have lowered our numbers.”

Rosemarie Knight, who lives on the edge of Obetz, is one of the nearly two dozen returning members. She joined 10 years ago because she wanted to get involved in center activities such as the twice-weekly lunches and games. She also volunteered for a while to help serve the meals.

“You can’t beat their lunches,” said Knight. “You get a full meal and it’s only $2. We even have mystery lunches where we go out, but we don’t know where they are taking us until we get there. It’s a lot of fun. I was so happy when I found out they reopened. I’m so glad it’s open because I have somewhere to go and something to do and I live very close.”

Senior lunches are served on Mondays and Thursdays at noon with after-lunch games. Chair volleyball takes place on Wednesdays at 1 p.m., Tuesday is Euchre night at 5 p.m. and craft classes are scheduled periodically.

Senior transportation is also available and lunches are delivered to homebound seniors. The center staff is always looking for ways to expand programming.

“People are excited and ready to get back to normal, see their friends and have an activity outside of their homes,” said Ross. “I never sensed any hesitancy. Our members were eager to be here. We are excited to bring back senior trips and mystery lunches in the fall and Alzheimer’s education starting in the winter. To sign up for lunches, craft class, or for information, call 614-496-6119.”


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