Westside Senior Center to celebrate 20 years with food, live music, prizes

·3 min read

Jun. 11—WESTOVER — After years of bringing the community's seniors together, the Westside Senior Center prepares to celebrate its 20-year milestone with food, live music and more.

"They said we would never last when we started this with volunteers, " said Jean Baker, the center's secretary and treasurer. "Well, it's been 20 years now."

The anniversary celebration is scheduled for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. June 12 at the center, at 500 DuPont Road in Westover, behind the city hall building. All members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Following opening remarks at 11 a.m., live music from Barry Wilbanks and Pam Lyons will kick off at noon. From 1-3 p.m, Brandon Howdershelt and Sincerely Country will take the stage. Karen Bright: Old Lady and the Boys will play from 3-5 p.m.

While dancing to the sounds of local musicians, attendees can grab a bite to eat and refreshments from T &L Hot Dogs which will be on-site from noon-3 p.m. Cake, cookies and other snacks will also be provided.

All visitors will also have a chance to enter to win door prizes, which will be announced at 5 p.m. Visitors do not need to be present to claim prizes.

"Everything's free. We're making baskets and when [visitors ] come in, they'll get tickets, " said Shirley Urso, Westside Senior Center board member. "They can put the tickets in the box for whatever they would be interested in."

Baker said she looks forward to giving away prizes, but is most excited to see how many community members stop by.

"I'm anxious to see how many people, new people, that come and see us, " she said. "I just look forward to seeing new people."

Meeting new people has been one of Baker's favorite parts about being a member of the senior center. She became a member a few months after it initially opened in 2001, and said it has since helped her make new friends and be more connected with the community.

Donald Godfrey, vice president of the center, has been part of the place since it initially opened. He said he is proud of the center for not only lasting for two decades, but also of the growth he has seen over the years.

When the center initially opened, it occupied a single room. Through the dedication of volunteers, it now spans three rooms and has a social room with a lending library, a gym, a full-kitchen and more.

"I feel great, " he said. "I think we did a good job."

The Westside Senior Center currently has about 300 members and is always looking for new ones to join.

"I think it is an opportunity to go and meet people, " Urso said.

Membership to the center is $10 per year. Hours are 9 a.m.-noon Monday through Friday, as well as Mondays from 6-9 p.m. for jam sessions and on Wednesdays, doors open at 5 p.m. for bingo.

Those interested in becoming a member can contact the center via email at westsideseniorcenter @gmail.com or via phone at (304) 296-6583.

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