Opinion

Welcome to the Kenmore Senior Center

The cozy house nestled among the trees, azaleas and rhododendrons of Rhododendron Park is home to Kenmore’s Senior Center.

Volunteer Betty Barnes says, “It was originally the caretaker’s house when this was a private garden.”

The city of Kenmore donated the home to the seniors who have turned it into a comfortable setting for gatherings and classes in creative writing, driftwood sculpture, knitting and crocheting. There’s a library in the living room next to the fireplace, and plenty of informational materials on health, fitness, college courses, tours and retirement housing … any subject you’d like. A friendly volunteer greets you as you enter the house with the offer of a cup of coffee.

Step into the meeting room. There is a computer available for use, a wood table for discussion groups, and a small gift shop. Take a look at the display of photos of historic Kenmore. There’s Bob’s Place, the 1915 first class of Kenmore School, Victory Drive-In in 1942 operated by Leslie and Mary Ogle, and the McMaster Shingle Mill of 1909.

Besides classes, Betty talks of many activities offered at the center.

“On the first Monday of each month, you can meet the mayor of Kenmore,” she says.

This meeting takes place at 10 a.m., where the mayor gives updates on the Kenmore, Bothell and Lake Forest Park areas, so bring your questions. There are also discussion groups every Friday afternoon where folks gather to talk about what’s happening in the news, politics and religion — now there’s a hotbed of topics! The Kenmore Heritage Society meets here once a month and there are also weekly AA meetings in the building next door.

Betty showed me the computer room where people have donated at least six used computers. Classes in computer use are held at the center.

If you prefer to walk or tone muscles, groups form for that, too.

For a mere $20 per person, you can belong to the center for a year. Not only does this fee allow membership to the Kenmore Senior Center, but the price also includes Mill Creek, Woodinville and Northshore senior centers.

This summer, take a stroll through Rhododendron Park with its walkways, large children’s playground and lush green manicured lawn surrounded by pink and white rhodies. You can also rent the picnic area and fire pit for family reunions or company picnics for a charge of $65. The income goes to the Senior Center.

“We’re also looking for volunteers,” says Betty.

If you would like to volunteer as receptionist for a few hours, share your talents teaching a class or coordinate games and crafts groups, call the center. It’s a homey, friendly place to simply hang out in.

Kenmore Senior Center’s address is 6910 N.E. 170th St. The e-mail address is: HYPERLINK “mailto:garrethj@seniorservices.org” garrethj@seniorservices.org and telephone: (425) 489-0707.

Suzanne G. Beyer is a Bothell resident.

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