SARAH HOWARD: Bingo, STRUT tops events at Senior Center

White Elephant bingo is always a fun time at the Manistee Senior Center. Winners never know what treasures they will come home with. (Courtesy photo)

White Elephant bingo is always a fun time at the Manistee Senior Center. Winners never know what treasures they will come home with. (Courtesy photo)

Senior Center Director

Happy September! I hope your weekend is going well, and you are doing something fun and exciting. There are some great things going on in Manistee County, so I hope you find something fun to do.

We had a very busy week even though we were only open four days this week. It’s funny. You would think it would be easy to keep up with the programs and activities, but if I don’t keep my calendar up to date, it is really difficult. Each program brings in different seniors; there are the exercise groups, the bingo groups, education groups, event groups, music groups, trip groups, lunch groups and there are people who only come in for very specific programs and activities.

I want to thank everyone who steps into the Senior Center or to one of our programs throughout the county. Without all of you none of this would be possible.

Tuesday, we started the week off with one of our favorites. We had the 3Ds in the house for Toe Tapping Tuesday. This is such a great group of guys. They donate their time to entertain the seniors. I can tell you their music is great, and it is always a lot of fun. Thanks, Don Pelarski, Dan Hogan, Dave O’Brien and Bob Veine for everything you do for the seniors in Manistee County.

Wednesday we had a huge crowd for Fun Bingo. It is always nice to have a full house for the programs. It really shows that things are making a difference. I think our Tai Chi group just keeps growing. It seems very relaxing and everyone says it is a fun activity.

Friday evening, we had a large group get together for a delicious dinner at The Blue Fish. We had superior service, and meals that were absolutely amazing. Then we were off to the beautiful Ramsdell Theatre for a wonderful performance by Karen Curlee. We had such a great night; I am really looking forward to doing more of these events. I know that Xavier Verna, the director of the Ramsdell and the board have a really great line up for music and shows for the season. If you would like to enjoy some of these performances with some friends, give us a call for more information.

Monday we have a very special event. We are celebrating some very important people in our county. We have our First Responder Appreciation Day open house at 11 a.m. Come in and say thank you to all of the firemen, police officers and EMTs who attend and make sure they realize how much we appreciate their selfless service.

Tuesday we have Michael Herring, an attorney who gives many hours to the seniors in Manistee County. Michael is such a great example of a volunteer. He has been volunteering for years at the Senior Center and has helped many seniors. Thank you Michael. Your help means the world to seniors.

Wednesday we have Fun Bingo and the foot clinic, plus something new. We have a new program, “Losing it at the Senior Center.” This program will be a weigh-in starting at 10 a.m. As we all age, losing weight gets more difficult, so we are starting a support group. I have put on weight since working at the Senior Center. I think I am like a lot of people who need that little bit of accountability, so maybe do a food journal and weigh in once a week with us. If this sounds like something you would be interested in joining come by to give it a try.

Thursday there is another Mystery Trip. This trip will be all new. We have never gone to any of these stops. So if you are looking for a fun day, make sure you sign up before the trip fills up. The bus will leave the center at 10 a.m. Be sure to call to reserve your spot.

The STRUT! classes at the Manistee Senior Center are winding down as the instructor, Susan, will be heading south with all the other snowbirds. (Courtesy photo)

The STRUT! classes at the Manistee Senior Center are winding down as the instructor, Susan, will be heading south with all the other snowbirds. (Courtesy photo)

Friday is our monthly senior food bank. This program is open to all Manistee County seniors who may need a little help. I still think this is a very important program that makes a difference for many seniors in our county.

Get ready for our Fall Craft Show on Nov. 11 at the Senior Center. Call us if you want a booth, or if you want to see some of the best crafters in town, please put this event on your calendar and come support a wonderful, talented group of people.

We are planning a huge event at the Ramsdell Theatre in October, music, food and lots of fun. I will confirm the date next week and give you all of the details, you won’t want to miss this great party.

Make sure you check out the monthly calendar so you can see if there is anything fun or interesting you would like do this month.

Have a great week and try something new!


Sept. 19 there will be Toe Tapping Tuesday.

Sept. 22 Susan Morris will be conducting another “Bob Ross style” painting class.

Sept. 25 is Police Talk with John O’Hagan. Join us at 12:30 p.m. for this informative session.

Sept. 26 we will be holding an elder law presentation on senior financial exploitation and abuse.

Sept. 28 Carrie Selbee and Roger Tarczon will be entertaining us

Sept. 29 is the senior flu shot clinic. Representatives from the health department will be here. Be sure to call to make your appointment.

In October we will be holding a dinner dance at the Ramsdell ballroom. Be sure to watch for more details.


The Senior Center Food Bank takes place on the third Friday of the month from 9-11 a.m. Seniors from Manistee County who are 60 years of age and older are eligible to participate. The next food bank will be Sept. 15.


This program provides people on Medicare with free assistance and education so they can make informed health care coverage decisions. Bill Tod is our local counselor and he can help you; understand eligibility, enrollment, coverage, claims and appeals; identify resources for prescription drug assistance; understand options under Medicare Advantage plans; solve problems related to Medicare/Medicaid coverage; and understand Medicare notices summary. Please call the Senior Center at (231) 723-6477 to make an appointment with Bill.


Gaye Fett is available to answer questions and assist with Medicaid nursing home applications. Call the Senior Center at (231) 723-6477 or toll free (888) 723-9060 to schedule an appointment.


The MCCOA has a program designed to help seniors remain independent, by reimbursing qualifying expenses. If you are a senior from Manistee County, you could receive reimbursement for payments you have made for house cleaning, yard work, snow removal services. For current clients in the Senior Reimbursement Program, all receipts must be current, no more than 30 days old. Income requirements apply. New clients must fill out registration form. Please call the Senior Center at (231) 723-6477 for more information.


There is a Diabetic support group that meets at 10 a.m. on the first Monday of every month at the Senior Center. The next meeting will be held on Sept. 11.


We are seeking volunteers for the Seniors Visiting Seniors program. Volunteers will visit homebound seniors in Manistee County. Please call the Senior Center for more information.


There is a Parkinsons support group that meets the third Thursday of every month (no meeting in January and February) at the West Shore Medical Education Center, Room #1. For more information call Jeanne Lewis at (231) 299-1286 or Linda Nickelson at (231) 690-5048.


The Senior Center has access to adult briefs and pads if you or a loved one are a senior and are in need. Please call the Senior Center to check on availability.


The MCCOA has started a Sit & Get Fit exercise program in the Bear Lake Area. They meet Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-11 a.m. and Monday at 11 a.m. at the Bear Lake Methodist Church. There is also a Sit and Get Fit held on Monday and Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. (just before lunch) at the Farr Center in Onekama, and Tuesdays at 10 a.m. at the Norman Township Community Center in Wellston. Tai Chi (on DVD) group meets on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. Sweating to the Oldies with Richard Simmons (on DVD) is held Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. The STRUT! class is on Fridays at 3:30 p.m. at the Senior Center through Sept. 22. Inside walking group meets Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. at the Marilla meal site.


Linda Theisen will be offering computer/cell phone help second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 1 p.m. at the Marilla meal site, after lunch.



· 9 a.m. Exercise

11 a.m. First Responder Appreciation Open House

· Noon meal

· 3:30 p.m. Sweating to the Oldies

· 6 p.m. Pinochle


· 10 a.m. Sit & get fit

· 11 a.m. Social hour

· Attorney services

· Noon meal

· 1 p.m. Bridge


· 9 a.m. Exercise

· 10 a.m. Sit & get fit (Bear Lake)

· 10 a.m. Walk (Marilla)

· 10:30 a.m Foot clinic

· 11 a.m. Fun Bingo

· Noon meal

· 2:30 p.m. Tai Chi

· 3:30 p.m. Sweating to the Oldies


· 10 a.m. Sit & get fit

· 10 a.m Mystery Trip

· 11 a.m. Social hour

· Noon meal

· 2 p.m. Matter of Balance


· 9-11 a.m. Food bank

· 10 a.m. Blood pressure clinic

· 10 a.m. Sit/get fit Bear Lake

· 10 a.m. Indoor walking, Marilla

· 11 a.m Social hour

· Noon meal

· 2:30 p.m. Tai Chi

· 3:30 p.m. STRUT!

MENU FOR WEEK OF Sept. 11-15

Monday: Jeweled pork loin, cheezy potatoes, roasted cauliflower, chocolate chip cookie, roll

Tuesday: Mushroom steak, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, Nirvana salad, roll

Wednesday: BBQ meatballs, seasoned noodles, California vegetable, nectarine, roll

Thursday: Pub burger on bun, baked beans, potato salad, cantaloupe

Friday: Chicken ala king, mashed potatoes, roasted zucchini, tropical fruit, roll

(Menu is subject to change) (Salad bar also available Monday through Friday.

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