Seniors lunch in Minden | RecordCourier.com

Seniors lunch in Minden

by Jo Rafferty

Buses picked up a few stragglers in front of the Douglas County Senior Center late Monday morning, who were either uninformed or forgot about the renovations taking place at the center this week.

In the CVIC Hall in Minden, seniors were packed into the historic building to eat “take out” out during the first of five lunches scheduled there this week. The noon siren from across the highway at the East Fork Fire and Paramedic Districts Station 14 signaled an unusual start to the senior lunch.

“The CVIC provided this facility at no charge,” said senior center director Warren Bottino.

The center received discounts from five area restaurants for lunches that will be served to the seniors Monday through Friday at the hall. Subway sandwiches and desserts were served on Monday. The menu for the rest of the week includes Scolari’s chicken meals on Tuesday, Two Guys from Italy pizza on Wednesday, Arby’s beef and cheddar sandwiches on Thursday and Port Of Subs pastrami and Swiss cheese sandwiches on Friday.

“There are some really nice people in the community,” said Bottino.

Douglas Area Rural Transit is providing a shuttle service from the senior center to the CVIC Hall, and also directly from seniors’ homes if requested. The pick-up time at the senior center is 10:15 a.m. Doughnuts, coffee and tea were available for seniors who arrived early at the hall. DART van driver Dave Thomas said “most” were surprised when he steered them to the bus in front of the senior center Monday morning, even though notification had been given throughout the preceding weeks.

About 90 people attended the lunch Monday, compared to the 100-125 who usually eat lunch at the center.

“Considering everything, we have a pretty good turn out,” said Bottino.

Earlier that morning, students from Rite of Passage moved all the kitchen appliances, tables and chairs, to one side of the long dining hall at the center on Meadow Lane in Gardnerville. Bottino said he was surprised and thankful the school made the kids available at short notice, since he had called the school the middle of last week. The Rite of Passage students are scheduled to return Friday and move the furniture and appliances back.

“The plan is to be back in the building on Sunday, I’m hoping,” said Bottino, clasping his hands together.

This Sunday’s bingo pot is up to $700, and Bottino said they are expecting about 125 players. Doors open at noon, with an early bird game at 1 p.m. and a regular game at 1:30 p.m.

Bottino said the bingo games have become so popular that the last game, held during the big storm on Jan. 1, had been attended by about 85 people.

Armand Castro and Lillian Heckers, both of Minden, are the bingo organizers. Due to the uncertainty of the kitchen floor being ready, they were not sure if Sunday’s event will be at the senior center or if the regular menu would be available. Pretzels, popcorn, tea and coffee are served for free, with hot-dogs and sodas normally available for an additional charge.

For information on this Sunday’s bingo, call Heckers at 267-4897.

Castro said he was happy about eating “take-out” food for a change.

“We’re real popular,” he said.

Senior center food services employee Tammy McComb brought a cart around with leftover Subway cookies and drinks.

“Usually our leftovers go to the homebound,” said McComb, “but we’re not doing that this week. We brought them (Meals on Wheels recipients) all frozen meals last week.”

Theresa Starrh of the Gardnerville Ranchos said the food and location were “very good.” She had driven to the senior center and taken a shuttle to the hall to avoid potential parking problems.

“It’s nice to be someplace else,” said Starrh, adding, “it’s nice to see new faces.” The group usually sit with the same people in the same chairs at the senior center, she explained. But, at the CVIC Hall, most of them were sitting with different people.

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at jrafferty@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 210.