WRSC: The center with the 'sweet heart'

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At the White Rock Senior Center members and guests are always greeted with a cup of coffee and a treat.
This simple act of hospitality sets the tone for that person’s experience in the center.
Those who visit can enjoy their snack in the chat room with 621 other members and guests that frequented the 283 square foot space last year. That equals 5,241 times.
In 2010 the WRSC had a total of 7,923 activity visits in the social event category, which includes members and guests. Two hundred fifty one members also visited the WRSC to exercise 3,807 times in 2010.
The center began serving seniors in 1994. A handful of interested residents saw a need and filled it. They called themselves the “Prime Timers.” Mary Venable was the spark that energized and organized these volunteers into a work force. With only two rooms in the credit union building that was built in the 70’s, they created a social center offering programs and a purpose where there was none before. Since 2000 the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization volunteer governing board has contracted with Los Alamos County to run the White Rock Senior Center as well as the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Here are some facts:
White Rock currently has 1,038 registered members.
Locally, the trend since 2000 has been an increase in the 45-65 age range.
By 2030 New Mexico will be fourth in the nation in the numbers of people over 60.
In New Mexico, the age group of 75 and older is growing faster than in the rest of the country.
78 percent of the people over 65 in New Mexico are retired, or not employed, indicating they may need to be involved in senior services.
WRSC has one paid part-time coordinator, Annie Bard, who keeps her eye on the “My Senior Center” touch pad maintenance and
monthly program advertising.            
The daily operation of the center is the responsibility of the “Boss of the Week,” one senior volunteer who is in charge of the center for a week every two months. Duties include opening and closing the center, scheduling desk volunteers and filling in when needed. The BOWs form a committee that plans new programs and manages events.
The WRSC is hosting an open house and registration campaign from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 24. Some of their senior groups like the Hooker’s and Stitchers, Wood Carvers, Wii Demo, Tap dancers and others will be onsite to demonstrate their skills as well as show off their handiwork.
Those who are curious about the services and programs offered at the senior center, or those who would like to have a part in the new senior/community center, are encouraged to stop in and pick up some literature and meet some of the members.
The BESC and WRSC are the first Senior Centers in New Mexico to implement the “My Senior Center” touch pad system of gathering statistics. Bard will register attendees for their free touch pad card.