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Senior L.I.F.E. Center celebrates 30 years of service

By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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The Thanksgiving dinner at the Senior L.I.F.E. Center on Nov. 20 was memorable. In addition to a delicious meal provided and served by members of Soroptimist International of Rocklin/Loomis, it observed 30 years of support of its older citizens by the community. The L.I.F.E. in the center’s name is an acronym for leisure, interest, fellowship and education, a program delivered without fail since 1978. Established by Soroptimist International of Rocklin/Loomis, the center was operated for more than 10 years by Placer Adult Education. Center participants have always gathered at the First United Methodist Church of Loomis, which continues to sponsor the center as a community outreach, non-denominational program. “The center offers programs that exercise the mind, the body and the spirit,” said Fred Hitchens, who shares executive director duties with his wife, Acsa. “All activities provide an opportunity for active socialization, one of the most important factors in keeping seniors alert, independent and alive,” he said. The program is for all Placer County adults aged 55 or older. Current participants range in age from 55 to 102 and are a culturally and ethnically diverse group. At 98-plus years of age, Madeline Petranovich is one of those participants at the top of the age scale. Petranovich lives in the part of “old” Loomis that now has a Granite Bay address. “I live for this place. I couldn’t exist without it,” Petranovich said. “It’s the highlight of my life. It’s so wonderful that they even provide a bus.” The center is open Tuesday and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A continental breakfast and a full nutritious hot lunch are provided each day and are included in the $3 participant fee. Activities include exercise classes, crafts, art classes, sewing sessions and table and card games. There are also general health screenings and lectures on health, finance, and legal issues, as well as entertainment. “The seniors we serve should be healthier, more independent, more active and better able to function which should serve to ease the burden on the facilities and costs associated with an aging population in Placer County,” Hitchens said. The non-profit center is funded through grants and contributions, as well as the nominal participant fee. In addition to the Soroptimists and the Methodist Church, the Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ and other service organizations, businesses and individuals support the center’s program by donating a luncheon. For dates open for sponsorship, contact the Hitchens at 773-1550.