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Senior Citizens celebrate 40th anniversary with Open House

Time passes quickly, and a building still often referred to as the “New Senior Center” is celebrating a ten year milestone this year. Not only that, the Senior Citizen’s organization officially observes its 40th anniversary. An open house will be held on Sunday, August 28th from 2 to 4 p.m. to celebrate this achievement. The community is invited and encouraged to attend. There will be a short program followed with light refreshments.

The Senior Center, located at 519 South Main Street, Lennox was completed in March of 2006. The project was truly a community effort. The lot the building sits on was purchased by the City of Lennox from the Lennox School District. The Senior Center organization and City then worked with the South East Council of Governments to establish funds. They received a $107,500 state grant and the City paid for the rest.

It was truly a joint effort. Margaret Meyer said, “We worked with the city as a team to make it happen.”

The Senior Center is home to a vibrant active group of citizens that have been a huge part of the Lennox community since the 1970’s. In historical recounts it states that the first interest in organizing a Senior Citizen’s group was in February of 1973. Connie Lutterman, Chet Severson, and Richard Wetherstone were the nucleus who gave it consideration. Twenty people met at the City Hall two times a month, and the Jolly Elders were organized.

In 1976 an L.E.E. organization (Life Enrichment for the Elderly) was formed with the help of Norman Van Mannen, then pastor of the Second Reformed Church.

The President of L.E.E. is now Tony Groebner; Arvid Straatmeyer now serves as the president of the Senior Citizens.

The dedication to the first Senior Corner, then located at Second and Juniper, was held on May 31, 1979, it was stated that four hundred people came to the afternoon open house and two hundred attended the evening program. On June 5, 1979 the Jolly Elders held their first meeting at the Corner, dues were set at $3 per year.

In May, 1982 the mortgage for the corner building was burned.

The Nutrition Program and Home Bound Meals was a project immediately undertaken. Meals were prepared and taken from Good Samaritan Home by volunteer drivers. Later meals were brought from the Bergland Center in Sioux Falls. The years 1985 and 1986 were times of big improvements and investments.

The Lennox group was invited to assist in the Nutrition Project and become an on-site food preparation kitchen.

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