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Rotary Report: Martinez Senior Center

Martinez Senior Center Supervisor Gina Lombardi Gravert (at left), with Barbara Turcios, who is active in the Center and a staunch supporter of “Meals on Wheels.” (PAUL CRAIG / Courtesy)
Martinez Senior Center Supervisor Gina Lombardi Gravert (at left), with Barbara Turcios, who is active in the Center and a staunch supporter of “Meals on Wheels.” (PAUL CRAIG / Courtesy)

By PAUL CRAIG
Special to the Tribune

NOTE: Rotary Report is an update about featured speakers at Martinez Rotary Club meetings. Rotary meets once a week at Grace Episcopal Church, 130 Muir Station Road. For meeting times and other inquiries, visit www.martinezrotary.org.

The Martinez Senior Center is a magnet for seniors in our entire region. There is stuff going on all the time. Nutritious meals are available five days a week. There’s companionship. There’s a Wellness Service Coordinator and a Nutrition Coordinator. “Seniors” include everyone over age 60.

Senior Center volunteers contribute to the community in many ways. Perhaps best known is the Pancake Breakfast. It takes place the second Sunday of each month.

Senior Center volunteers contributed almost 12,000 hours of service last year. That translates into about six person-years of work. Wow!

The Center has a dedicated Board of Directors, presided over by Larry Risner. Martinez Rotarian Shelly Pighin is First Vice President.

Membership is only $10 a year. Non-members are welcome to participate in everything.

The Center is supported in part by the City of Martinez. What a great thing for the City to do!

Seniors are vulnerable to isolation. Having a place to mix with others helps a lot. Rotary invited Senior Center Supervisor Gina Lombardi Gravert to tell us about her first year at the Center. One of her quotes stuck with me: At the Center, “I don’t feel alone.”

What else does the Senior Center do? Examples are legion: legal services, blood pressure screening, the Alzheimer’s Respite Program, tax preparation, County Connection tickets, access to the ADA para-transit service (County Connection LINK), poker, bridge, Mah Jongg and Pinochle. There’s a Driver Safety and Refresher course. And painting, sewing and quilting. And writing. There are lots of movies. And a bunch of physical and mental fitness programs. The list goes on and on.

If you haven’t stopped by at the Senior Center, you should. Walk in and ask for Gina. She’d love to show you around.

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