FORT WAYNE — Officials, volunteers, patrons and staff gathered Wednesday to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Community Center.
As part of the celebration and to encourage the intergenerational theme of the Community Center, Active Aging Week for adults older than age 50 will be expanded this year to include a Community Center Showcase – an extensive sample of free classes, demonstrations, lectures and hands-on activities for adults of all ages, running Monday through Sept. 28.
“The Community Center is a tremendous asset to our downtown,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a prepared statement. “I encourage residents to visit and enjoy the activities that are planned in celebration of 35 years of great service provided by the Community Center. A special thank you to the staff and volunteers who are committed to making positive experiences for visitors.”
Adults 18 and older are invited to stop by the Community Center between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. or 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Sept. 28 to try out activities such as line dancing, watercolor painting, quilting, belly dancing, clogging, sign language, juggling, pottery, yoga and basket weaving. A full schedule can be found in the Community Center Showcase brochure, available online at www.fortwayneparks.org.
“Some people still refer to the Community Center as the Senior Center, although so much more than the name has changed,” Parks Director Al Moll said. “This venue has become an integral part of the downtown district by offering a variety of opportunities for all ages to stay physically and mentally active.”
Though the Community Center was dedicated in 1977, its roots go back decades before that. In 1947, some of Fort Wayne’s senior community formed the Bloomingdale Oldsters Club, parks officials said. In 1965, a senior-citizen program and theater workshop program was established at Jefferson Center. Jefferson Center shut its doors in 1974, and senior programs moved to the Fort Wayne Housing Authority’s senior high-rise apartment buildings.
In April 1975, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission gave approval for the Senior Citizen Center at 233 W. Main St., and groundbreaking took place in October.