Sam and Arlene Smith of rural Brainerd weren't looking forward to the long winter. Because of health issues, they were no longer able to go south for the winter. This would be their first full winter here in many years.
A month ago, Arlene was reading the Dispatch and came across the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center's weekly schedule. She noticed that 500 cards is played twice a week. Sam loves to play 500, but Arlene doesn't always like how competitive he is. Arlene showed the schedule to Sam, mentioned that they didn't have anything going on and that maybe they should check out the senior center.
The Smiths found the senior center on the north side of Brainerd and checked with the receptionist at the front desk. She told them that 500 would begin at 1 p.m. and since it was only 11:30 am, they would have time for lunch at the dining site. After enjoying a great lunch, they joined the 500 group for cards. That day there were 28 people playing. The Smiths met new people, had fun and the afternoon flew by. When the winners were announced, Arlene won second place and 85 cents. She bought Sam a senior center doughnut to celebrate.
Since then, the Smiths have continued to play 500 twice a week, they volunteer delivering meals and have become members of the senior center. They have found that their annual membership of $15 has given them a place to make new friends, participate in activities and attend programs on topics of interest to seniors.
If you are dreading winter, stop in and check out the activities that we have to offer. You're sure to find one or several things that will interest you. Tours are available at any time and the coffee is always on.
DEANN BARRY is the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center director.
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