Fri, Jan. 17

Verde Valley Senior Center in the center of the action

If you talk to Executive Director Elaine Bremner, you would think it’s a party every day at the Verde Valley Senior Center. And that’s not far from the truth.

The center, at 500 E. Cherry Street in Cottonwood, is more than just a place for retirees to gather for lunch and a round of Bingo. Over the years, the center has built itself into an important gathering spot for socializing, services and information sharing.

At midday, you’re likely to hear live music being played at the center. It might be a sing-along. It might be some pre-lunch pop or country music. Cutting a rug is totally acceptable. Bremner says the gang was a little more sedentary until the center hosted a Sadie Hawkins Dance. “Now we can’t get them to stop,” she says.

Mondays, it’s been Craig Johnson on piano. Tuesday, you’ll find Pollyanna Sorenson leading the singing from the piano. Wednesday, you might enjoy Don Livingston and Fran Judd playing old-time country on Wednesday, or maybe Joe Braly at the piano. Or it could be Leonard and Laura Cook with Barbie Epperson playingold-time favorites. Some days, Doug Hersey & Wayne Hayden perform on sax and piano for the dancers. Often on Fridays, the Oldies but Goodies group, sometimes a trio sometimes a quartet, plays great tunes everyone remembers.

Plus, always be on the lookout for Karaoke with Neil and Priscilla Burgers.

There is a constant stream of special events and fun regularly scheduled activities. Some are organized by the Center. Some groups formed on their own over a shared interest.

There are movies on Monday afternoons, exercise class and Bingo on Tuesdays (not at the same time), with Nintendo Wii games available on Wednesday. Then there is the ever-popular Texas Hold ‘em poker games.

Lunchtime is marked by a delicious and nutritious hot meal served cafeteria style. Those 60 and up pay $3.50, and anybody younger can eat for $5.

An important part of the services at Verde Valley Senior Center is the Meals-on-Wheels program for the homebound. Verde Valley Senior Center thrives on its volunteers, but nowhere more so than Meals-on-Wheels. Bremner says there is a constant need for qualified drivers to deliver a good meal and an open heart.

The Center offers space for a variety of services, from veterans’ counseling to tax consultants, Weight Watchers, grief counseling, health and safety clinics and much more.

Even on a quiet day, the Verde Valley Senior Center is place for friends to catch up and enjoy a little time together over lunch or a game or a bit of sewing.

Verde Valley Senior Center is uniquely set in a revived and redone locomotive repair shop.

The Center is a 501(c)(3) corporation. For more information, call (928) 634-5450 or visit

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