Merced County Times Newspaper
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Senior Center opens for yoga, pinocle, dancing, and more!

Don Lee, top volunteer at the Merced Senior Center, stands out front to let all his friends know: The place is open once again. Come on over.
Don Lee, top volunteer at the Merced Senior Center, stands out front to let all his friends know: The place is open once again. Come on over.

So far, they’ve kept it a little low-profile. But yes, the Merced Senior Community Center is back in action after more than a year of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Right now, through the month of August, the Senior Center will be open only weekdays, Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Sept. 1, the center plans to expand hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; including an additional day, Friday.

So far, attendance has been steadily increasing for weekly activities and monthly meetings.

“When they see the cars parked outside, that’s when more come in,” said Don Lee, the volunteer coordinator at the Center.

Lee said the popular and weekly Senior Social Club and Bingo is expected to return on Friday, Sept. 3. That’s when the main hall fills up with many seniors for all the talk and competitive action.

“It’s just a matter of time,” Lee said of the Friday bingo. “That’s the big draw.”

So far, programming includes, daily morning yoga exercises, Pinochle and Bridge on Monday and Thursday mornings, dancing Monday through Wednesday, along with special days for woodcarvers, canasta, tai chi, Writers Group, arts, crafts and needlework, and AARP meetings, among other things.

Seniors can bring food in, but they are not allowed to share any food items, as of yet. There are about a dozen senior volunteers that man the front desk and keep things going, day by day. There is also a book exchange. And don’t forget they have free copies of the Merced County Times in the main lobby!

The Senior Center — operated by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Merced — is also a place that can be rented for community events. For more information on that, you can call 385-6298.

“Sunday Socials” is one community event that is held monthly at the center. The next one is set for Sunday, July 25, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (doors open at 1:15). There will be live music by Gloria and Friends. They ask for $8 donation.

The Senior Center is located at 755 West 15th Street in downtown Merced. Call 385-8803. Or drop by for a schedule of activities located on the front desk.

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