Plans to expand remain in the works at Shipley Center, but staff and leaders were proud to share how active Sequim’s Senior Activity Center is from wall to wall at its 11th annual Open House on Sept. 12.
During a brief speech, Shipley Center executive director Michael Smith said they “need more space to do what we do,” so they continue to seek donations and grants for a planned 6,400-square-foot Health and Wellness Annex, estimated at a total cost of $1.5 million and to be built across the parking lot from the center at 921 E. Hammond St.
Smith said it will feature space for exercise classes, a fitness room, sports courts, multiple tables for ping pong, and a demonstration commercial kitchen classroom that First Foundation Community Foundation donated $100,000 toward as a co-sponsor.
The facility will also be available for lectures, bazaars, fundraisers, rentals and catering events.
“We’re applying for more grants to help with the overall project,” Smith said.
With funds from the R. Leo Shipley Estate, center officials purchased the lots next to the future annex to provide for possible expansion and parking, he said.
The building will be “green” and energy-efficient with specially paneled walls and skylights.
In the current space, groups showed off multiple offerings at the center ranging from tap dancing to balance exercises.
In the game room, Bobbie Dahn continued her tradition of leading games of Scrabble every Thursday at 1 p.m. She opened her game with a “Bingo” where she used all seven letters to spell “actuate” and earned 50 additional points.
Nearby in the Arts and Crafts area, multiple center members knitted, crocheted and more as they made conversation. The Fiber Arts group typically meets at 10 a.m.-noon Mondays and Tuesdays, and 1-3 p.m. Fridays.
Among their participants is Marion Rutledge, who Smith recognized as Volunteer of the Quarter for her work leading the Stitches program that provides handcrafted items to various nonprofit agencies and pre-mature baby clothing to Tacoma General Hospital.
Smith also recognized retired U.S. Air Force Col. Joey Lazzaro and his wife Mahina, a Hawaiian dance class leader, who spoke in July at the center about his time with the mission control team that oversaw operations during Apollo 11’s landmark lunar landing 50 years ago.
Smith gave them celebratory T-shirts and a coin with an Apollo 11 patch on back of the case. Lazzaro also gave Smith a coin commemorating the anniversary.
“One thousand years from now, we’re still going to remember walking on the moon,” Smith said.
As for Shipley Center, it hosts more than 1,700 active members with membership costing $55 per person per year or $95 for two people living in the same house.