KINGSTON — Margaret Craig held the scissors and on cue cut the ribbon at the official grand opening of the new Kingston Active Adult Center.
Standing next to Craig was her companion, Jack Granahan. Craig, 84, and Granahan, 81, met at the center’s former location and the two have been an item ever since.
“It was the best move I ever made,” Granahan said of his decision to spend time at the center.
Craig said the center is her second home.
“There are all wonderful people here and we all get along,” she said.
A ceremony/celebration was held Wednesday with more than 100 in attendance at the new center at 335 Third Ave.
Craig said the center offers square dancing, shuffleboard, Bingo, Pokeno and a choral group that provides entertainment at local events.
“Jack and I also volunteer here,” she said. “We love to help out.”
Standing in front of a sign that read, “The best place to be is together,” several speakers addressed the crowd.
Trula Hollywood, executive director of the Area Agency on Aging, welcomed everyone and introduced state Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Kingston, whose office is located across Third Avenue from the center.
“These centers are funded with proceeds from our state lottery,” Mundy said. “That’s why we need to keep the lottery as is and not in the hands of some for-profit company.”
She said the centers serve many purposes, such as providing meals in a social setting where seniors can come and have a good time.
“It’s great for them to come here and socialize and stay active,” Mundy said.
John O’Rourke, captain of the center’s shuffleboard team, said the new center has a great set-up for the game he loves and he is looking forward to organizing a league.
“And now I can walk here from my house,” he said.
Sandy Acornley, director of the Kingston center for more than five years, said attendance has been up at the new location. She said more than 40 new members have registered.
“We’ve retained almost all of our members from the previous site and we get new members almost daily,” she said. “I guess the word I’ve heard most about the new location is that it has a homey feeling. It’s a great place for our seniors to come to relax and have a good time.”
Acornley said the center has rooms for computer use, exercise, activities and more. Seniors can watch TV, play games, do line dancing or learn belly dancing or Zumba.
“Everybody has such a positive attitude,” she said.
Local elected officials were in attendance and the GAR High School cheerleaders were on hand to help out.
The center recently had a “Joke Day” and an “Elvis Week” celebration. They observed “Left-handers Day” and served a Hawaiian lunch with hula lessons.
The center also offers programs on issues concerning senior citizens and on health topics and nutrition.
Established in 1968, the Area Agency on Aging is a county agency serving the needs of the residents of Luzerne and Wyoming Counties. The organization is responsible for planning and coordinating a comprehensive system of social services for older residents of the community and acts as an advocate and speaks out on issues related to the well-being and needs of older persons.
At the new center, another sign reads: “You are not grown up until you run out of birthdays.”