The city of Rogers Senior Center has had an interesting year, just like everyone else. Recreation and Facilities Coordinator Jackie Riebel started working with the seniors at the end of January. Six weeks after starting, the COVID-19 pandemic made many changes to what was planned. This meant working from home and trying to continue, somehow staying connected with the Seniors (55+), and offer various programs at the Senior Center located at 12913 Main St.
Typically there is always something educational and stimulating to do, with plenty of activities being free or at a minimal cost. The activities offered include billiards, card playing, art classes, movies, exercise classes, discussion groups, presentations, greeting card making, computer usage, volunteer opportunities, and various social gatherings such as Senior Dining and Jammers (music and potluck once a month). Day trips are also coordinated with fun and exciting locations to theatres, museums, restaurants, casinos, and other unique locations in the region. Unfortunately, these programs are on hold due to the pandemic; however, we look forward to offering them again when it is safe to do so.
The center is doing its best to keep offering programs that are as safe as possible with the ongoing pandemic. Programs are hosted virtually, with physical distancing, or outside when feasible. To find out more about the program offerings, a senior newsletter is published each month that includes all upcoming senior events and information. People can visit rogersmn.gov/seniors-home to view the monthly Senior Newsletter, senior dining menu (currently on hold due to the pandemic), upcoming events, and more.
A highlight that was offered this past year was Parking Lot Bingo. The bingo players would arrive and park at the Senior Center parking lot to marked spots that allowed for car windows to be open on a nice day but remain at a safe distance apart. The participants would be issued bingo sheets without having to get out of their cars. They would then tune their radios into the caller, much like a drive-in movie. Once they had a bingo, they would honk their horn twice! Each month we had more and more people attend. In October, the participants were surveyed if anyone wanted to try one more Parking Lot Bingo before it got too cold. It was unanimous, and on an unseasonably warm November day, bingo was played one last time outside before spring.
In addition to events and programs being offered, Rogers is fortunate to have many organizations working alongside each other to benefit the senior community. One that acts as a booster club for the senior community is Rogers-Hassan Senior Friendship Group, composed of senior volunteers who also coordinate senior events, including various fund raisers all year round. They host craft and bake sales, chili/soup suppers, pie socials, dishcloths and recycled greeting cards for sale, and bingo every other month. They also offer the Rogers Registry and Vial of Life, both potential life-saving programs. Senior volunteers also coordinate a local shopping bus every Thursday. The group always welcomes new volunteers to help with these programs and share ideas at their monthly meetings.
The Rogers Seniors are continuously adding new programs, trying new activities, and taking suggestions, with the goal of expanding our positive impact on the senior community. For more information about Rogers Senior Programs, contact the senior center at 763-428-0939
After a few weeks of the pandemic, the Senior Center had an added addition of a rainbow of hearts on their front window meaning “we’re all in this pandemic together.” The window was well received.