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What does it do?
It encourages members to take part in interesting activities
and helps them maintain their usefulness in the community.
It helps spread information about employment opportunities,
medical care, hospitalization, recreation, housing, pensions,
social security, etc. It aims to coordinate agencies and groups
working with Seniors into a program of mutual helpfulness.”
--Senior Center, 1960s welcome brochure
Since 1955 the mission of the Adult and Senior Center of Saratoga is to empower seniors to achieve and maintain personal independence and individual well-being by providing the program structure and support services necessary for healthy recreation, companionship, social involvement, and problem solving.
Its articles of incorporation lay down an enduring mission: “to promote the best interests of the seniors” of Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County for which it would procure a building as meeting place.
And the Saratoga seniors meant all seniors and emphasized accessibility:
“All citizens, regardless of race or creed, are welcome at the Center on Circular Street;
free transportation is furnished for those who do not have means of their own to go there.”
(Presbyterian report, 1968)
An early flyer made this mission clear, stating: [Mrs. Vokes] will be happy to meet there any county residents over 50 who are interested in a vital purposeful organization, with no yearly dues, with classes, trips, and food at cost, and with a hearty welcome for all”, Senior Citizens Center Has Active Program”, Saratogian, May 8, 1969
Initial support for this mission was not entirely enthusiastic. By 1960, however, The Saratogian marked a change in tone:
“We thought the formation of the Citizens Center somewhat rash.
But when you take alook around at what has happened to some
people, who have had to turn to the County Home or been sent to
nursing homes, you realize that many of the elderly are
indeed the forgotten and need whatever can be done for them...”
-- Editorial, The Saratogian, May 14, 1960