By Ron Stafford
When you drive by the Grasonville Senior Center, you may think that it’s a subdued place where seniors sit around, sleep or watch television all day. Not so! Located in the heart of Grasonville, the senior center bustles with activity. Led by Senior Center Manager Ann Martin and her team consisting of Site Council Manager Bonnie Walter, Site Council Vice President Sandy Morse, and Treasurer (and a willing volunteer) Becky Barbee, the members of the center are involved in activities ranging from taking day trips, working out in the fitness area, and helping with fundraising activities, including making a very unique cheese server.
The cheese server started in a ceramics class where participants were learning how to paint on glass bottles. From painting on bottles, the class morphed to creating a unique cheese server from wine bottles that could be sold to the general public to raise funds for the Center. The wine bottles are saved from various restaurants in the area such as the Jetty and Adam’s Ribs, washed very thoroughly and then placed in a kiln after which they are molded and shaped into a great finished product. Bread and butter knives are sometimes added as a finishing touch.
How much for these grand creations? Ann says, “The servers sell for $15 to $25 depending on the size.” The bread and butter knives sell for an additional $5. Ann also added, “We have sold $1100 worth of cheese servers so far, and we hope to sell $1000 more between now and Christmas.” They have become so popular in the community, that Bonnie at times was selling the servers out of the trunk of her car. She adds, “They are a hot item.” Sandy chimed in, “I hope other local restaurants will help us out in this cause. We commend the community for supporting us in this effort.” The cheese servers have become one of the most popular fundraisers at the Center, second only to the spaghetti dinners and the various trips that are offered. Ann hopes that the unique cheese servers sell out by Christmas. She and the rest of her team hope to expand the effort next year.
The Grasonville Senior Center is operated by the Queen Anne’s County Department of Aging, and is a very busy operation. As Bonnie noted, “It’s not a nursing home…it’s a very progressive center for every level of senior.” Membership is free; those who participate in the activities must be independent and at least 60 years of age. The fundraisers support various activities including trips to such destinations as Italy, Ireland and New York City.
The Center also has a computer lab and holds an annual variety show and dinner. Meetings held by the Site Council are a venue for members to share their ideas. Sandy added, “The Senior Center is a very active place. We serve approximately 50 to 100 people on a daily basis. Seniors do not have to belong to just one center. They are welcome to participate at the center on Kent Island and at the new center just built in Sudlersville. In the future, Ann and her team would like to see more seniors participating in the activities. “We would like to see more people take advantage of what we can offer them,” added Bonnie.
For more information on how you can get involved and how to purchase the cheese servers, visit Ann and her team at the Center located at 4082 Main Street in Grasonville. Feel free to call them at 410-827-6010 or you can email Ann directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.