The Council on Aging’s PLAYERS Community Senior Center held a grand reopening open house Thursday, June 24, as it prepared to welcome area residents back after the pandemic.
Center Coordinator Alison Vitti said people have missed going to the center, which had been closed for more than a year to protect the health and safety of senior participants during the COVID-19 outbreak.
News of the reopening generated a lot of interest.
“We’ve been getting phone calls daily,” Vitti said. “They’re very excited to come back. And we’re so happy to have them.”
The event had a ‘40s theme, with red, white and blue decorations and piano music by Donnell Miniard. While there, attendees were able to register for upcoming programs and meet Vitti, a longtime volunteer who took over the coordinator position in June.
For now, the center will be open on Thursdays only, though there is a plan to increase program offerings over time.
Initial programs will include tai chi, arts and crafts, brown-bag bingo, Wii bowling, book club and more. In addition, Vitti will continue to teach her chair yoga class. Advance registration for programs is required as space is limited.
The center has been a popular place for seniors to gather. They enjoy the parties thrown there, as well as the live music and speakers. They also like to use the center’s computers so they can get access to the internet.
The reopening is part of a careful, phased approach implemented at the six senior centers throughout St. Johns County. Vitti said the center has been busy getting ready for the reopening.
“It’s been a long and very difficult year for all — especially for seniors,” said COA Executive Director Becky Yanni. “We are thrilled to be able to reopen our centers so that our community’s seniors can get back to enjoying each other’s company and living life to the fullest.”
The Ponte Vedra Beach senior center is supported in part by a grant from Republic Services, a local waste management services provider. As a nonprofit organization, COA also relies on donors from the community to keep the center running and serving local seniors.
The COA is in need of that support as it rebuilds its centers and program offerings.
For further information go to www.coasjc.org or call 904-209-3700. For information on free, upcoming events, sign up to receive COA’s weekly e-newsletter at www.coasjc.org/sign-up.
THE PLAYERS Community Senior Center is located at 175 Landrum Lane, Ponte Vedra.
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