April Pawley has been hired to serve as Auburn’s Senior Center Director. The center, which just recently opened its doors, finished construction weeks ago and now has someone who is excited to run it.
April, who was spent most of her summers at Camp Joy with her parents who operate the camp, married local boy Ben and settled down in the area. They have one child, Aslyn and one on the way.
“I am very excited to be the directer of the center and am looking forward to the relationships I will make here,” said April. “I will enjoy getting to know the people who come here and being able to sit and listen to the history they all possess.”
The center, which is located behind the city park across from the senior apartments, became a reality when the city received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in 2010 for the project. The city of Auburn also chipped in additional funding for the project. The project took a little longer than anticipated because of cost and a downsizing in plans to make it a reality.
The 4,084 square foot facility includes an activities room, warming kitchen, restrooms and office space. When entering through the front door you are met with a very large room complete with a floor to ceiling stone fireplace. The warming ambiance of this center is sure to be inviting to all who use it. The structure will also be rented out to the community during the times when the seniors are not occupying it.
April is planning on holding numerous activities and events for seniors to enjoy. She wants to make the center a “home away from home” atmosphere. Some of the activities will include monthly visits from dietitians teaching seniors how to prepare healthy meals, health-care presentations to help with blood pressure and provide important information to seniors about taking care of themselves, exercise classes, game days and musical guests and speakers. April plans on having night events as well. The first will be held Tuesday, May 28 from 5-7 p.m. where seniors will come out and enjoy planting flowers, hanging bird feeders, enjoying a meal and listening to the Overholt Family sing. Keep a close watch in the ND&L community events section where the monthly events will appear.
April says the center always has puzzles and crosswords on hand for those who wish to keep their minds busy. They are trying to get a television as well. These and other activities will be offered to help with the physical, mental and social needs of Auburn’s senior population.
“I want the seniors to feel comfortable to come here and relax. I want the center to be stimulating for them. It doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you get out of the house,” said April, who also wants to hear from the seniors themselves on what they would like to see the center offer. “This is their center,” said April.
The City of Auburn pays for utilities at the center. The director’s salary is being provided through the generosity of the Auburn Leather Company. The center is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Every senior is invited to come and have a good time.
April says she would eventually like to see the center provide lunches each day of operation. She is currently setting up meetings with those who can make that happen. But right now, she is just trying to get as many seniors as she can involved in the center.