It is difficult to imagine White Rock without its senior center, but that was not the case 20 years ago.
When Mary Venable and her late husband Doug first proposed the idea, White Rock seniors were immediately on board, but others — including some members of the Los Alamos County Council — just did not understand why seniors could not drive up to the senior center in Los Alamos.
That council’s chair, Lawry Mann, did support the idea, which gained momentum until council approved the use of three rooms in the White Rock Municipal Complex in 1995.
The White Rock Satellite Senior Center opened Aug. 3, 1995. The “Satellite” was dropped in 1997.
County Clerk Sharon Stover, who was serving on council at that time, also gave “enthusiastic support.” At the center’s 20-year anniversary celebration, Stover called the White Rock seniors “a force to be reckoned with.”
“I keep pointing to Mary Venable, even though she doesn’t like us to say that this was her idea and her doing, but you did: you created a home, all of you folks,” Stover said. “When you think of what a home is, that’s what the White Rock Senior Center is.”