An alternative for senior citizens in Granville to stay active and communicate in-person with others was established on Oct. 21, 1971 at the Indian River Nursing Home.
Fifty years later, the Mettowee Valley Senior Citizens are celebrating their golden anniversary with an open house on Oct. 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The open house will look to recruit and inform potential new members age 55 and older.
“We’re trying to get some area-wide members,” said Mettowee Valley Senior Citizens president Carol McGivern. “It keeps their minds working longer. Just the contact, to look at somebody and say, ‘how was your day?’ or ‘how’s it going?’”
Meeting on the first and third Thursday of every month around lunchtime, members will convene to discuss opportunities of anything from making crafts, donating to Granville Central School District and sewing dresses for the less fortunate children in Africa.
The group also looks forward to awarding two Granville Junior-Senior High School seniors to “all-around good kids” annually.
“I think the social part is the biggest thing for older people,” vice president Lois Warner said.
Warner, who has been involved for more than 20 years and is a former president of the club, provided NYVT Media with a history lesson on the community group located at the St. Mary’s Church Hall at 7 Morrison Ave.
At the inaugural meeting in 1971, about 70 people were in attendance, with more than 100 members involved in future years. As of today, there are 25 active members and 40 total.
“We’ve lost about eight people this year, maybe half to passing on and the others not being able to get out anymore,” McGivern said.
On Dec. 2, 1971, following a $10,000 donation from the Lions Club, the group moved to the St. Mary’s Church Hall building, formerly known as the All Saints Community Center, and installed its nominated officers consisting of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and chaplain.
The building had a sponsorship assumed in 1972 by the Lions Club, with a monthly rent set at $40.
As the senior citizens look to repurpose the term “senior,” many members refer to a senior citizen group in Fort Ann using the moniker of the “recycled teenagers.”
“Senior shouldn’t mean elderly but that’s what everybody thinks,” Warner said. “I think that senior citizens do more than what people know.”
The group is looking forward to springtime where they have an upcoming project of replacing the ramp of the front entrance.
“We want to get it up to code because the ramp is so slanted, it has cracks and it’s not really safe,” McGivern said.
The open house will be open to all members of the public and serve light refreshments. For more information, call McGivern at 518-854-7395.