The Kenai Senior Center sits on the bluff overlooking the mouth of the Kenai River, Friday, June 14, 2019, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Senior Center sits on the bluff overlooking the mouth of the Kenai River, Friday, June 14, 2019, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Seniors stay active all summer

Senior centers offer a variety of activities.

Local seniors are staying active this summer through special events offered in the area’s senior centers.

The Sterling Senior Center is gearing up for a fundraiser, the Salmon Classic Roundup. Sterling Area Senior Citizens Director Peggy Eymann said the fundraiser is the largest event of the year at the center. The event occurs annually, and will feature a barbecue dinner, silent and live auction, door prizes and more. The money raised at the event goes to support the Sterling Area Senior Citizens, which is a nonprofit focusing on food, housing, security and active lifestyles.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Eymann said. “Everyone seems to enjoy it.”

The Salmon Classic Roundup is 5 p.m., June 22, at the Sterling Senior Center.

Eymann says residents can also look forward to the center’s gun show and street fair, happening July 20-21 and Aug. 17.

Besides the center’s major events, Eymann says the organization hosts all kinds of smaller, daily events throughout the year, with more in the summer.

At the Kenai Senior Center, Tawni Eubank, activity and volunteer coordinator, said a handful of special summer activities get their members outside and active. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. a walking group meets up to go on a short stroll near the center.

“We have a gal that’s 95 that goes with us,” Eubank said. “So we just go a little ways.”

Several events like tai chi and strength training keep members active, while beginning Spanish classes and guitar classes keep members sharp.

Eubank said one unique event the center offers in the summer is a Mystery Drive. Members pay $5, and their driver takes them to surprise location.

“They don’t know where they’re going,” Eubank said. “The driver takes them to some interesting places.”

Eubank said the last Mystery Drive brought members to a kennel where they heard from a family who participated in the Iditarod. The next Mystery Drive is at noon, July 16.

Every summer, the center offers a day trip to their members. Last summer, Eubank said the group went to Spencer Glacier, near Portage. This year, members have the opportunity to go to Seldovia for the day, leaving at 7:30 a.m. on July 24.

At the Soldotna Senior Center, Ken Losser highlights the organization’s Summer Bazaar, which is open to the public. The event features craft and bake sales, a quilt show, raffles and refreshments. The festivities will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 27 and 28.

Losser says the center also hosts a game day in the summer. Members are invited to play numerous games, from card games, board games, dominoes, mah-jongg and even Wii bowling. The event is free.

The center will also assist members who want to go to the Alaska State Fair, which happens every summer in Palmer. Losser says the organization will charter a bus, which leaves the center around 8 a.m., returning at 10 p.m. on Aug. 27. The price is $36 for seniors, which includes the round-trip ride and entry ticket.

Residents can check their local senior center’s newsletters to see what special events are being hosted this summer.

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