Delores Jones, John Buckingham and Annie Nininger participate in a ceramics class at the Northshore Senior Center in Bothell. CATHERINE KRUMMEY/Bothell Reporter

Come for the classes, stay for the camaraderie at Northshore Senior Center

Northshore Senior Center has something for everyone, whether you’re in need of a hot meal, a creative outlet, a new exercise routine or simple coffee and conversation.

“We want people to think of the center as a place where they can come to enhance their lives,” Danette Klemens, NSC executive director, said.

Both a hot lunch and a sandwich and soup lunch are offered from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday at the center in Bothell for a $5 suggested donation. Reservations can be made by calling 425-487-2441. Registration for Meals on Wheels can be coordinated by calling 425-286-1049. NSC also has a coffee bar where patrons can purchase coffee and treats — including pie on Tuesdays — for nominal fees.

NSC runs a variety of locations, including the Bothell center, the adjacent Northshore Adult Day Center and Health and Wellness Center, Kenmore Senior Center and Mill Creek Senior Center. More than 55 people, both part-time and full-time, work for NSC, but the organization relies heavily on its 500-plus volunteers.

“You have no idea how elated I get by being able to help people directly,” Sal Garcia, who volunteers as a personal trainer and physical therapist at the Health and Wellness Center, said after recounting stories of helping seniors regain mobility through fitness and exercise programs.

NSC provides a variety of programming, including approximately 300 classes and activities per year, through its Bothell, Kenmore and Mill Creek locations. Art classes, computer classes, dance classes, finance classes, fitness programs, support groups and day trips are all part of the lineup, with a large share of the programming open to members and non-members.

“The senior center is an amazing place,” Bothell resident Lori Simmons said while taking a ceramics class. “Everyone has a story about why it means so much to us.”

In 2015, 6,415 people (including 2,727 members) visited the senior center 90,878 times. Membership, which has perks including discounted fees for some of the center’s programming, is $35 per year for an individual. A two-person membership, which can be a couple, two friends or two family members, is $60.

NSC is the largest senior center in the state and the second largest in the United States, Klemens said. (The largest in the U.S. is, coincidentally, North Shore Senior Center in Evanston, Ill.)

Funding for the local center comes from a variety of sources, including EvergreenHealth; the cities of Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Mill Creek and Woodinville; the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT); Snohomish County Human Services; King County EMS; grants; private, corporate and individual donors; and fundraising events. NSC used to be part of Sound Generations but went independent in March. However, Sound Generations still provides funding for the center’s lunches and Meals on Wheels programming.

For more information about Northshore Senior Center, call 425-487-2441, email information@mynorthshore.org or visit northshoreseniorcenter.org.

Students participate in a Zumba class led by Dollie Brown (far left) at the Northshore Senior Center in Bothell. CATHERINE KRUMMEY/Bothell Reporter

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