It was a picture perfect day at Waupaca’s senior center.
There was plenty of sunshine as at least 100 people gathered inside and outside the center Friday, Sept. 9, to celebrate the center’s state accreditation.
Some sat beneath umbrellas during the awards ceremony, smelling the chicken barbecue being prepared for them by members of the local Knights of Columbus.
“We cooperate a lot with the community,” Senior Citizen Coordinator Teri Moe said in thanking the many who helped make last week’s celebration possible.
Last June, a review team spent several hours at the center. They toured the building and met with Moe and members of the Senior Center Advisory Board.
By the end of that day, Moe learned that the center was receiving state accreditation, making it the 30th center in the state to do so.
“The advisory board was instrumental in helping us get accredited,” Moe said during the awards ceremony. “The best thing that I think came out of it is that we have goals set for our future.”
Dennis Sheehan, chairman of the advisory board, thanked those who serve on the committee and the seniors who use the center.
Mark Ziemer is the director of the Oshkosh Senior Center and also the chair of the state accreditation team.
Ziemer and two of his associates visited the center last June. The center’s advisory board impressed him. “Also, that the mayor (Brian Smith) is part of it is significant,” he said.
Senior centers are not just places for people to go to when they retire, Ziemer said. The idea is to keep seniors engaged, he said.
“Retirement is not a time to hang it up but to do something different,” he said.
Involvement at the center and in the community is a way to give back and to stay healthy, Ziemer said.
Waupaca’s mayor said that when he was asked to serve on the center’s advisory board, he saw it as a way to help the senior center.
He said Moe has made the senior center a wonderful area where seniors can participate in numerous programs.
The center’s state accreditation will help the city spread the word even more about the center and what is available there, Smith said.
“Teri didn’t have to do this,” he said. “She was asked to be on the (state) board and go to other senior centers. She will be able to use that information to make our senior center even better.”
State Sen. Luther Olsen and State Rep. Kevin Petersen also attended the awards ceremony.
Olsen said the center offers many programs and that he and Petersen should visit it, because many of the state and federal government’s problems could be “solved in those walls.”
Petersen said, “Waupaca is a dot on the map, and ‘accreditation’ is a word. But, what puts life into all of them is community.”