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The Hoodland Senior Center celebrates 40 years on the mountain posted on 02/01/2018

40 years ago this month, 65 people, including Clackamas County Commissioner Stan Skoko, celebrated the opening of the Hoodland Senior Center, Information & Referral Center at the Lions Club. On Wednesday, Feb. 28, the Senior Center will celebrate four decades of serving seniors from Alder Creek to Government Camp at its current location, 65000 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches. The celebration will take place from 1-3 p.m.

Ella Vogel, the center’s director, noted that all their efforts are supported by volunteers.

“They’ve been the backbone of this organization from the beginning,” she said.

The group first formed in November 1976, devised by Reva Cox as the Hoodland Senior Citizens, and held the first potluck luncheon at the Lions Club on Feb. 8, 1977. 32 people came to the first meeting, followed by 52 at the second, with potluck luncheons becoming a monthly event.

“That’s what I found amazing, it was established by potluck luncheons and just volunteers,” said Vogel, who has been combing through the organization’s history in the recent months.

The center runs a variety of programs, including classes on topics such as knitting and better bone health, offers trips to a wide range of activities including Spirit Mountain Casino, OMSI and restaurants, counsels seniors on Medicare and also operates the local Meals On Wheels program. Vogel, one of two part-time employees, notes that the organization operates solely on donations and stressed the importance of the volunteers, including the Meals On Wheels drivers (Bob Boertien, Julie Bailey, Mary Imel McIntosh, Connie Mahlum, Judy Simon, Susan Stindt and Barbara Vangelder), who delivered 2,785 meals, and bus drivers (Doug Burk, Bob Fletcher, Ed Grenfell, David Marshall and Mark Smith), who drove 4,571 miles and 1,401 one-way trips during the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Vogel hopes to make a list of volunteers throughout the years and also create a “wall of memories,” featuring photos of them.

“There's nothing more than I‘d like to show them how much we appreciate them,” Vogel said.

Vogel noted that one recent addition to the center has made a difference – a shed that stores medical equipment, including wheelchairs and walkers. Wheelchairs are offered at $1 a day (no charge for walkers), giving seniors on the mountain an affordable option that is nearby.

And as for future programs, Vogel hopes to potentially add a farmer’s market in the center’s parking lot sometime.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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