This is your Senior Center!
What exactly is a Senior Center? Senior Centers offer a wide variety of programs and services, meeting the needs and interests, of
a diverse range of retired people. Senior Centers nationwide are adapting with a changing population of seniors. This change is
making centers rethink their methods of attracting members utilizing café environments, technology, lifelong learning, and fitness/
The Blaine Senior Center is no different. The goal is to make life better for our members. Our members have an age range of 50
years (50-100) and require a wide range of programs and events. As we come out of a pandemic, there has never been a greater
need for support of our Senior population. Many Seniors got left behind during the pandemic and we need to adapt and change.
Many of us forget that we now have three different generations accessing our senior center: The Silent Generation (up to 1945),
Baby Boomers (up to 1964) and Generation X (1965-1980). In fact, the senior population is supposed to double in the next 10 years.
This requires the community, our staff, volunteers, and members to keep an open mind, to explore the possibilities and to be
innovative like never before in offering effective programs. The City of Blaine is growing...and we need to adapt and grow with it.
We have a special center here in Blaine. Blaine lets us use this facility. The city and the county pay a large part of the staff’s salary.
This facility is beautiful and offers us the freedom to create whatever our 500 (and counting) members want and need. The key is
utilizing this facility and making the most of this amazing resource. We have talented and loving members who give us an amazing
foundation. Imagine this facility utilized to its potential...full of life and the power of all our senior generations.
This is no easy task, however. Remember, Senior Centers are not a right...they are a privilege. And we are at a crossroads. How do
we offer such a wide array of services and maintain an ability to support them? How do we create a Senior Center that offers us the
resources we want and need, now and in the future. How do we make our Senior Center so valuable to the community that we
become the hub for Blaine’s senior population?
The answer is Seniors. To be forthright...Our Blaine Seniors. Those that are members and those that could be. What does this
mean? We, as members, shape the future of our Senior Center. Now imagine if we can increase programs and resources and utilize
this facility to its fullest for our Seniors and the community!! Now and for decades to come. This does not mean we lose our
hometown feel, the warmth that comes from connecting friends we have grown to love. This comes from opening our hearts and
minds to so many others who could benefit from a home away from home.
So how do we come together as a Senior population? We must make a conscious effort. To be proactive today so we may continue
to have this resource in the future. This means we must think and then act on our desires and needs. Yes, we have to first be a little
selfish. Create your vision of the Senior Center and how it works for you. Does this mean a new group, a new activity, a desire to
learn a new skill, or maybe a desire to be entertained? But you must act on it. Put it out there to the Senior Center staff and let’s see
if we can make it work.
Secondly, we need volunteers. This is not a part- or full-time job. This is a few hours on a given week or a few at one of our Senior
Center events. We have a role for every member: Help in the kitchen, greet members at the door, be a leader to a group, help in the
office, help clean, support an event, or use your expertise and lead a class or lecture. How about sharing your favorite recipe to a
cooking class? The reality is if every member donated even an hour a month...we would have 500 volunteer hours to support the
center. And this does not even calculate the proven physical and mental health benefits of being a volunteer. There has never been
a more important time to help.
Finally, we accept donations as a 501C3 Non-Profit. What does this mean? It means that donations over $250 offer a tax benefit to
you. But more importantly, your contribution goes directly to the center and its operations. You can even designate it for a specific
use. This is an amazing way to see your donation go to good use. We need your donations. Not to earn a profit. To support the
Blaine Senior Center and its members. To offer services that support our community.
“Did you know that the Meals on Wheels Program is independent from the Senior Center. It is not part of your Senior Center
membership. We support it with lots of effort, but the Senior Center does not receive any financial support for the program other
than helping our members.”
I love our Senior Center. I have a goal to support the center through hard work, smart decisions, and with a disposition that is
fearless in a quest to make life better for our senior community. Your community. I ask you to do the same. There are so many ways
to be involved, to contribute, and to personally benefit. Please have pride in being a member and work with me to continue to
sustain and grow our center through love, innovation, fearlessness, and a lot of fun. Seniors seriously do Rock.
-Pete Nelson, Executive Director, Blaine Senior Center
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