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Cottrel: Senior Services satellite runs like cruise ship

When I walk into the United Senior Services Center on Dayton-Springfield Road next to Howard’s IGA, I’m always amazed.

Al Bowers and Joanne Snarr run this satellite branch of United Senior Services like a ship — a cruise ship, that is. There is always something fun or entertaining on the schedule and someone nice to share the activity.

Last Tuesday it was euchre. Now I’d enjoyed the euchre games with seniors in New Carlisle a few years ago, and I was looking forward to this. What better way to spend a wintry afternoon than playing cards with friends in a brightly lit, warm, easily accessed location? I particularly love the walls lined with paintings created by local artists.

What talent we have in our communities!

On this date 16 women and men sat around four card tables playing euchre, while four more in the back of the room played their own game of double pinochle.

Normally there are at least six to eight tables, according to Bowers, but illness, travels and weather had taken their tolls on the day I’d visited.

“It’s like a wave in the ocean,” said Bowers. “Impossible to predict numbers.”

Card players arrive before 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, ready to play and with snacks to share. Bowers provides the coffee.

They have a carefully thought out plan on how to handle odd numbers. Suffice it to say everyone plays, since they all change partners after each round. And no one ever sits out for long enough to do more that hit the snack table and stretch their legs.

Norma Harris plays cards in Enon and at the Springfield location of United Senior Services.

“Without this, I’d be lost,” she said with a smile. “I’ve met so many nice people.”

Mad River Twp. resident Mary Chenault comes to this center at least four days a week.

“There’s a nice variety of things to do,” said Chenault. “I’m glad it’s so close and I don’t have to go downtown. I love the family atmosphere and that everyone knows everyone else.”

After meeting this friendly bunch, I have a feeling that no one is a stranger for long.

The schedule of activities is posted in the front window of the center at 7571 Dayton-Springfield Road. In addition to regular card playing and fitness sessions, the schedule includes movies and a variety of craft activities.

On Fridays, volunteers work together to make comfort pillows for Hospice. So far this ambitious bunch has made 713.

At least once a month a special presentation is scheduled. At 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14, Dan Hilbert will speak about his observations of a local nesting pair of bald eagles and his involvement with the streaming video of that nest that can be followed on the Internet.

For more information about the center and activities, call 937-863-0043.

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