by Holly Glen Gearhart
Ole Carlson dreams of growing the membership of the Sky Valley Senior Center in Sultan. He dreams that, as the membership grows, Sultan’s senior center can model their activities after those of the East County Senior Center (ECSC) in Monroe. Carlson wants to get the word out to people in the Sultan area because he feels some seniors don’t know about the Sky Valley Senior Center.
“We share this space with the Boys and Girls Club,” under the umbrella of the Volunteers of America (VOA). But Carlson wonders, “How many seniors in the area know there is a senior center here?”
The Sky Valley Senior Center is located at 701 First St. in one of the A-frame buildings on the VOA campus. The senior center staff is made up entirely of volunteers who dedicate their time preparing hot lunches and planning activities in the shared space.
Sharing space can be a challenge. One time the two groups had to share the floor space during a meeting; seniors on one half and the youngsters from the Boys and Girls Club on the other half. Sometime next year the Boys and Girls Club will move into a new facility and the senior center can add services and activities to a larger membership.
As the membership numbers grow, the senior center can apply for grants, add to the lunch program and offer even more to people in the valley. “I like what they did with the senior center in Monroe,” says Carlson, referring to the fact that ECSC has its own facility and offers a wealth of activities to its membership.
Activities are limited as long as the center shares space with the Boys and Girls Club, and the dream is to grow the membership.
“We figure that, as we grow and get better organized, we could be in a position to apply for grants to help us find or build bigger facilities. When the Boys and Girls Club gets their new building [in 2013] this will give us more space to grow, at least for the time being,” says Carlson.
The center’s membership fluctuates between 22 and 97 active members, but Ole feels that there have to be more seniors in the area. “They just need to know we are here, and they can come here for lunch,” or play a round of checkers, or meet some really great people, he said.
The Sky Valley Senior Center, located at 617 First St. in Sultan, is open Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Hot lunches are served for a nominal fee. Call (360)793-2400 for more information.