Fifty years to the day Sequim pioneers signed off on the incorporation of the Senior Citizens Center of Sequim, Shipley Center leaders celebrated the May 27 milestone with live music, free food, and a lot of conversation and smiles.
Whether members attend for art, exercise, games, trips and/or any number of reasons, Sequim’s seniors continue to make the center a focal point for people’s golden years.
Margaret Cox, the center’s board president, said she’s attended since 2005, filled in as president in July 2006 and has served on the board in some capacity ever since.
“Between church and the senior center, it’s a place where I spend a lot of my retirement,” Cox said. “I love helping others even if it’s indirectly through creating programs at the center.”
Sequim resident Mary Bell said she’s been at the center everyday for at least 10 years for an array of things, such as using the computer, and attending various activities and meals.
“I’m looking forward to everything coming back fully,” Bell said.
Executive Director Michael Smith said most activities are back aside from close-together card and board games, which will be reintroduced in the near future.
Center member Brian Sullivan said he’s happy to be back on trips. He’s gone with the center for more than seven years on 183 excursions, including Silverdale last week and Salt Creek the week before.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic there was a 14-month gap between trips, he said.
“There are a lot of nice people,” Sullivan said. “It’s a day away and a good opportunity to get away from the garbage in people’s lives.”
Through its 50 years, the center started in the basement of the old Sequim Presbyterian Church, moved a few times, had its name changed a few times before currently settling in at 921 E. Hammond St.
It’s now known as Shipley Center, to honor longtime member and benefactor R. Leo Shipley. In honor of the 50th anniversary, The Café at Shipley Center has been renamed Leo’s Café.
Center leaders say they are closing in on seeking permits to build a Health & Wellness Annex adding 6,460-square-feet, too.
Cox said the pandemic impacted the center, like most people, but membership and usership has been building up again. In her balance class, she said “everyone is excited to be back even with masks and social distancing.”
For more information about Shipley Center, visit shipleycenter.org or call 360-683-6806.