Senior activities are needed in Cedar Rapids

I am writing to share my observation of the apparent lack of senior programming activities in the Cedar Rapids area. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of experiencing a bountiful offering of senior activities in the city of College Station, Texas under the supervision of the College Station Parks and Recreation Department. Distributed between two re-purposed facilities, the Lincoln Recreation Center and Meyer Senior and Community Center, offerings included dancing, exercise, pickle ball, bridge and canasta, mahjong, art classes, movies, bingo, computer club, jewelry making and various holiday celebrations.

The facilities were functional and staffed by Parks and Recreation Department employees. Annual membership fees were $25/residents and $30/non-residents with alternative daily fees of $2/residents and $4/non-residents. Most activities were absent of any additional fees.

My purpose in sharing my Texas experience is to fuel, hopefully, a community conversation in developing similar affordable senior activities in the Cedar Rapids area. That said, the recent placement of two YMCA facilities up for sale, Stoney Point and Marion, might offer venues for what, I believe, would be welcomed activities and the opportunity for post-pandemic social interaction. I recognize that there are senior activity offerings within senior living communities in the Cedar Rapids area. However, these are generally not available or advertised for non-residents. Suggested is the development of a more broadly-based program that would be available to a wider demographic of our senior population.

Jeffry Gauthier

Cedar Rapids

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