In the community

Deed in hand, Vale Senior Center extends invitation to 50s set

Vale Senior Center board members play cards on a recent weekday. Clockwise from top right: Sherian Chard, Barbara Ray, Joanne Roner and Sharon Mahan. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

VALE – Since retaining complete ownership of the property and building last June, the Vale Senior Center has relaxed the rules a bit.

As the center at 100 Longfellow Street gears up for its annual meeting at 11 a.m. this Friday – when new officers will be elected – current board members chatted about the changes and their hopes for the space last week, over a card game of “hand and foot.” 

The yearly membership for $10 is now available for those 50 and over. Previously the membership age was 60.

The center now is open to anyone, regardless of age. Prior to acquiring the deed, the center was bound by the specifications of a grant that only allowed senior citizens inside.

The center is available to rent for parties or other events. 

“There isn’t another place in Vale as nice and as big and as accommodating,” said Barbara Ray, president of the center. 


A fully equipped kitchen is part of the facilities and is also available to rent. 

The center is also interested in drawing in new members. Previously open five days a week, the board decided that attendance numbers called for opening Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. instead. But Ray said she’d like to see people using the building more often. 

“We encourage people to come join us,” said Sharon Mahan, Vale Senior Center secretary. 

They currently have between 75 and 100 members. 

“We welcome new input and new ideas,” added Joanne Roner.

There is also interest in adding more recreational classes for seniors. A light exercise class is now held three days a week.

Every Friday night is reserved for pinochle and a live band is featured every third Saturday of the month. A Sweetheart Dance and potluck dinner is scheduled at the center for Saturday, Feb. 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

The center also has an ongoing sale of second-hand items. Several coats swayed from a clothing rack at the entrance last week, and tables displayed trinkets including glassware and dainty teacups.

Ray said they are always looking for something new to add to the roster of activities.

“We would be open to almost any educational classes for seniors,” Ray said. “As seniors we like to keep busy. We don’t want to sit at home and watch commercials.”

Have a news tip? Reporter Yadira Lopez: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.

For the latest news, follow the Enterprise on Facebook and Twitter.

SUBSCRIBE TO HELP PRODUCE VITAL REPORTING — For $5 a month, you get breaking news alerts, emailed newsletters and around-the-clock access to our stories. We depend on subscribers to pay for in-depth, accurate news produced by a professional and highly trained staff. Help us grow and get better with your subscription. Sign up HERE.