For the last two years, Luke Euzarraga has been the facility director at Anderson Memorial Senior Citizen Center. He is breathing new life into the large facility by expanding classes that help keep seniors in our community healthy and offering opportunities to combat loneliness.
The center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to anybody age 50 and older. The center has a lounge area that also doubles as a library, a gym with a stage, a dining room and a crafts room with a kiln for ceramics. A private patio is shaded by large trees, and there are plans of creating raised bed gardening in the future.
“We want to expand the reach of who we serve and help seniors stay healthier,” states Euzarraga. “The center offers free fitness classes like chair yoga and tai chi, and we are hoping to add a Zumba class,” he says.
There is a nutritional program run by the Jaycee Foundation, and lunch is served daily for $3. Eating at the center is a chance for seniors to interact in a community setting with other people. There is also a TV where movies are played or guests can read a book in the lounge area. The center offers a piano, karaoke, bingo club, sewing class, games, dances, wellness fairs and ceramics class ($10 for 6 weeks).
The center is part of a public park that includes a playground for children and a basketball court. Euzarraga is working to add sensor lighting in a dark area near the playground that is problematic at night. He also wants to have shrubbery added in select areas of the park to combat issues after the center is closed, which will also help improve the quality of the neighborhood.
Anderson Memorial Senior Citizen Center is the only senior center run by the Department of Recreation and Parks in San Pedro. It is closed after 5 p.m. and on weekends but could be used as a community center during those times if there were funds, according to Euzarraga. He envisions a thriving senior center on the weekdays and a community center that could be used for tutoring, theater for youth, and community meetings on nights and weekends.
“Maybe someday we can even do a production of the play Our Town with the local high school,” he says. The possibilities are endless.
The center would appreciate donations of newer books for the library, patio furniture, board games like Jenga, jigsaw puzzles, essential items like hygiene products and canned goods for low-income seniors. They are also seeking funds or food sponsors for their annual tamale/pizza party that serves approximately 60 seniors. Volunteers are wanted for classes, lectures, and activities.
Classes Schedule: Senior Lunch: Mon–Fri from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sewing: Mon from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fitness: Monday and Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Ceramics: Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ($10 for 6 weeks), Bingo Club: Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Senior Club Meeting: Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Chair Yoga: Thursday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Ingles: Martes y Jueves from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Tai Chi: Thursday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and Fun Friday (Crafts, Movies, Games and Karaoke): Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. (pre-registration required). spt