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Goleta Valley Senior Center Reaching Out — Way Out

New Senior Center Without Walls program plans extensive activities well beyond the building

It’s Tuesday morning on a cold, wet, dreary day. Rain is falling, traffic is hectic and people are on edge.

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Inside the Goleta Valley Senior Center, however, the outlook couldn’t be brighter. The band is playing, seniors are dancing and socializing, the coffee is on, and the aroma of the day’s hot lunch — provided by the Community Action Commission — is starting to fill the dining hall. It’s hard to have a bad day when you see the smiling faces of these “honored citizens.”

The Goleta Valley Senior Center, 5679 Hollister Ave., is experiencing a growth spurt and the organization’s programs are filling to the brim with active seniors looking for ways to fill their days with fun, challenging and healthy experiences. The center is so busy, in fact, that it’s now in the planning stages of its newest phase, the “Senior Center Without Walls” program.

The Senior Center Without Walls program is an exciting new adventure for the center. The program aims to appeal to those individuals who may feel as if going to a senior center categorizes them as “old.” It is a stigma that those in this field have to struggle with every day. To the contrary, the seniors who attend Goleta Valley Senior Center programs are vibrant and full of life, and a lot of that has to do with them getting involved with the center and trying new things. Among the new program’s intended activities are a hiking class, a swimming class, and day trips to the Channel Islands for guided nature tours, kayaking, as well as even a few overnight camping trips for really adventuresome seniors. Goleta Valley Senior Center leaders are excited about the new changes.

Tickets are on sale now for the Goleta Valley Senior Center's 6th annual Mardi Gras Celebration. The event is is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 16.
Tickets are on sale now for the Goleta Valley Senior Center’s 6th annual Mardi Gras Celebration. The event is is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 16. (Amy Mallett photo)

The senior center will continue to provide its daily list of activities, including line dancing, tai chi, bridge, bingo, swing dance, gentle yoga, hula and a ton of parties for every occasion. Lunch is served hot, Monday-Friday at noon. The center also will continue to provide legal aid help, blood-pressure monitoring, informational talks and so much more.

And if you have not yet made your reservations, the Goleta Valley Senior Center’s 6th annual Mardi Gras Celebration is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 16. Tickets are $10 and are available now at the center, 5679 Hollister Ave. Any remaining tickets will be $15 at the door.

Click here for more information or call senior director Amy Mallett at 805.683.1124.

Life is short, so get out and enjoy the services available to you. You’ll meet new friends, learn something you didn’t know and leave with a smile on your face.

— Amy Mallet is senior director at the Goleta Valley Senior Center.

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