2017-02-17 / Letters

A huge success

To the Editor:

As we approach the Feb. 28th one-year anniversary of the opening of the Garden City Senior Center on Golf Club Lane, and the February 22 open-house celebration, I have two key observations.

First and foremost, what a huge success the facility has been. Thank you to the Trustees who supported the seniors’ multi-year battle to establish and fund the expansion and renovation of the embarrassing, decrepit, 40-year old existing center.

My second observation is how wrong, biased and narrow-minded the opponents were of the project. The opponents -- some Trustees and some vocal residents -- continually stated the specious arguments that a new center was not needed or was too expensive. They were blind to the fact that roughly 20-25% of Garden City’s residents deserved better treatment and recognition. In short, Seniors Matter!

Here is some evidence of the success the new senior center has been. According to Recreation Dept data: 1) on most days, morning through afternoon, and some evenings, 100+ seniors utilize the facility; 2) many weeks, over 500 persons take part in the dozens of enjoyable opportunities for recreation, socializing and learning from guest instructors and speakers, as well was the many trips to interesting places and 3) monthly attendance is in the 1,500-2,000 person range. Does this sound like the expansion was not needed? Importantly, while the former center could only accommodate one activity at a time, the new center can comfortably have four or five activities simultaneously. Now that’s progress!

In sum, the perseverance -- letters, speaking at Trustees meetings, and talking-it-up -- have paid off mightily. The battle was worth the “blood, sweat and tears” even though it took much too long, and several mayoral terms. Thank you for the support of the Recreation Dept, its staff and the many volunteers To all Garden City seniors I say: continue to patronize and enjoy your wonderful Senior Center.

George M. Salem

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