Point Place venue offers lunch, activities for seniorsWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Friendship Park Community Center is true to its name, say those who regularly gather at the Point Place senior center.
“I went to other ones before I came out here and this one is the friendliest,” said 77-year-old Donald Doty of West Toledo, who eats lunch at the center almost every day. “If we see someone new walk in the door, we say hello to them and give them a newsletter.”
Diane Duling, 72, also of West Toledo, agreed.
“We don’t have cliques here,” she said. “There’s some who hang around with each other, but they talk to everybody.”
Marguerite Jewson, 97, of Point Place drives to the center three or four times a week and loves to play Scrabble.
“I like the people. That’s why I come,” said Jewson, who founded the local chapter of AARP, a national organization for people age 50 and older. “You get to know them and it’s nice to be with them.”
A hot lunch provided by the Area Office on Aging is available to anyone at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday for a suggested donation of $2.50 (60 and older) or $5 (59 and younger). Reservations are required by noon the day before by calling (419) 936-3079.
“It’s like social hour,” said Director Chelsey Labadie. “It gets them out of the house. It’s welcome to anyone.”
Nutrition Manager Lise Tank, who orders and serves the meals, said she thinks people enjoy eating at Friendship Park for the convenience as well as the socialization.
“If you’re an older person, you don’t have to worry about lunch at home; you can come in here and eat and then just get up and leave,” Tank said. “You don’t have any dishes to wash. It’s like a restaurant really, but we only charge $2.50 per person.”
Lunch typically draws 12-15 people, but there’s always at least 25 on Wednesdays because bingo is played afterward, Labadi said.
Lula Bracht, 76, of Point Place said she doesn’t miss lunch on bingo days — or whenever macaroni and cheese is served.
“That’s my favorite,” Bracht said.
Duling enjoys playing games, including Scrabble, Boggle and mah-jongg.
“It’s a nice place to come to for enjoyment of games and fellowship,” Duling said. “My husband doesn’t play games so I need this. I wouldn’t get to play Scrabble if I didn’t come out here.”
Joyce Carter, 71, started coming to the center about six years ago and started working there two years ago.
“They miss me when I’m gone because it’s so quiet,” Carter said, laughing.
Euchre and pinochle tournaments, dance classes, tai chi, yoga, quilting, puzzles, Sudoku, a lending library of books, computer classes and more are also offered. A nurse does health screenings twice a month.
Friendship Park Community Center, 2930 131st St., is a nonprofit operating under the jurisdiction of the City of Toledo’s Division of Recreation.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon Friday and closed Saturday and Sunday except for scheduled events.
For more information, visit www.friendshippark.info.