September 11, 2013
This isn't your grandma's Senior Center. Don't even utter the word Bingo, says energetic director Mendy Putman.
The classes and activities on the center's fall schedule include zip lining, weight training, biking, iPads, dancing and ESP and there are 350-400 participating most days.
Reporting to the Friends of the Colorado Springs Senior Center and supporters at an annual fundraiser, Putman said retired Brig. Gen. Jesse Gatlin, former C-47 Skytrain ("Gooney bird") pilot-turned-PhD instructor for 27 years is typical of the attendee excitement: more than 80 are signing up for his American literature classes.
Sarah Honn Qualls, who said one of the top causes of death of the elderly is loneliness, called the center "a remarkable gathering place where people are engaged."
The Aug. 22 event was called SOS for Save Our Senior Center because the center had faced budget-cutting closure several years ago and staff and volunteers work to keep it open.