More than 300 people - most of them seniors, but with plenty of politicians to go around - packed the Pasadena Senior Center for its grand opening yesterday.
They came by car and by the vanload, some using canes, walkers or wheelchairs, to see the result of a project that took seven months to build, but which Pasadena's councilwoman, Democrat Shirley Murphy, said had been sought for three decades.
Minutes before the ceremonial ribbon was cut, County Executive Janet S. Owens was already talking about enlarging the approximately 8,500-square-foot facility at Lake Shore Plaza.
"It's clear in next year's budget -we need more space," she said to applause and cheers.
Spurgeon R. Eismeier, the county's central services chief, said after the ceremony that another 2,300 square feet is available in the rear of the building, should the county wish to expand the facility.
"With this kind of turnout, it's evident this is the right place at the right time," he said.
In addition to Owens and Murphy, the district's legislative delegation turned out, along with officials including Police Chief Thomas P. Shanahan, Sheriff George F. Johnson IV, Office of Aging Director Virginia Thomas and 74-year-old Alfred A. Hopkins, former mayor of Annapolis.
But the most important people were clearly the people who will use the center. While a small seniors' band called "The 1940's" played tunes like "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," future patrons of the center walked through the meeting and classroom spaces - including one outfitted with computers for lessons beginning this week.
"I want to know computers," said 71-year-old Dolores Lloyd of Hickory Point. "I'm sure they have a lot of other things, too, like exercise."
Phyllis Metzger, who lives about a mile west of the center, did not give her age but said she considered herself "too old" for computer lessons. She said she was looking forward to bingo.
The center's schedule, handed out with the dedication program, has bingo listed from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursdays. Also included are classes in oil painting, country line- dancing and pinochle.
'Caring for the Caregiver' at community college
The eighth "Caring for the Caregiver" conference will be presented by the county Department of Aging from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Friday at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold.
Topics will include identifying types of dementia, understanding behaviors, reducing stress and discovering ways to solve conflicts and problems.
The program, in Room 101 of the Florestano Building, is co-sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association and by Anne Arundel Community College. The cost is $17 -mostly to cover supplies, refreshments and a box lunch. Information: 410-222-4464.
Senior health care topic of latest in seminar series
"Health Care Issues for Seniors" and "Practical Advice for Caregivers" will be the next programs in a series of health care seminars presented by Hospice of the Chesapeake at Community Center at Woods, 611 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park.
The health care program is scheduled at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the center meeting room, and the caregivers program is scheduled at 7 p.m. May 18. They are the second and third seminars in a series of eight co-sponsored by the hospice and the county Department of Aging.
Information: Pam Kane, 410-987-2003.
Mentors needed: The county Department of Aging's Seniors and Children Organized Prevention and Education (SCOPE) program needs volunteer mentors. SCOPE focuses on drug-abuse prevention and education for youths. Information: 410-222-4464.
Visitor program: Community Advocates for Senior Opportunities and Services needs visitor program volunteers. Information: 410-761-1769.