STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson County Senior Services Arts and Activity Center has opened for business and Executive Director Amy Mihalyo said men and women are already enjoying a variety of activities, including dance, singing and crafts.
"I thought the visitors might be interested in singing some of the songs they currently hear on the radio. But so far, they are interested in music from the 1970s, so we have people singing the songs and swaying to the disco beat. Everyone is having fun, so that is good. Our vocal music classes are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.," Milhayo said.
The woman who has held a long-time dream of opening a center for senior citizens has achieved her goal with the Senior Services Center at 132 Hollywood Boulevard.
CRAFTING — Visitors to the Jefferson County Senior Services Arts and Activity Center on Hollywood Boulevard learned how to make fall wreaths Friday afternoon. Among those taking part in the craft hour activities were, from left, Pearl Monroe of Brilliant; Kim Gray of the center; Mary Pasich of Steubenville; Amy Mihalyo, executive director of the center; and Clare Vosteen of the center. - Dave Gossett
"We have the area over here open for the dancing hearts. We are offering classes that have low impact dance to make our hearts and bodies healthy and strong. Our dance professional is Darcee Groves, and she offers cardiovascular fitness, improved balance and control, improved flexibility as well as strengthened muscles and bone mass. We have line dancing on Mondays, social dance on Wednesdays and a dance party on Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon," explained Mihalyo.
"We offer different disciplines that will include painting, photography, creative writing and technology. We hope to encourage people to explore their creative sides and enjoy expressing themselves. I have seen children buy the new smart phones or tablets for their elderly parents who may not have any idea how to use the devices. We are going to have a class to acquaint the senior citizens with the latest technology. We want to teach seniors how to use all of the latest technology," explained Milhalyo.
"We will also have an 'Ask the Dietitian' program where Registered Dietitian Brenda Milliken will be available to answer questions about food and nutrition. An appointment will be necessary and we will have a private room for the consultation," Milhayo said.
The idea for a senior activity center has been on Milhayo's mind for years.
"I honestly believe I am here to create a senior citizen center. This senior arts and activity center will not fail for a lack of trying," stated Milhayo.
Her friend, Clare Vosteen, has already been recruited to teach arts and crafts.
"I was very involved with residents at a local nursing home. And now I look forward to teaching others about painting and making crafts," Vosteen remarked.
"Right now I am looking for card players. We plan to have a card club for rummy and euchre card games and a weekly bridge club so people can stop in and play cards and socialize. We want to offer a safe, comfortable place for seniors to relax and enjoy themselves," she noted.
Mihalyo is passionate about helping senior citizens.
"This center will be open to everyone and we will be open to any activity the people are interested in doing," said Milhayo.
After 12 years at the Area Agency on Aging and nine years as executive director of the PrimeTime Office on Aging, Milhayo said she is ready for the next step.
"We asking for an annual $15 membership fee for couples or $10 a year for individuals. We are not in this to make money. We just want to offer a variety of arts and craft programs for our area senior citizens," she noted.
"We are flexible in what we will offer at the center. We can morph our events into whatever works for the people. We are not looking for long-term commitments and we offer a place to visit, to learn and to socialize. Our tentative hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. But if evening hours are needed, we will adapt," declared Milhayo.
"Please stop by for a visit or call the Senior Services Arts & Activity Center at (740) 275-4101 if you are interested in participating or attending our classes. We welcome you," said Milhayo.