New Programs And Services At Donna Smallwood Activities Center Get Seniors Out

Seniors enjoy lunch at Das Schnitzel Haus.

(Photo by Erin Lally)

The Donna Smallwood Activities Center is making sure seniors get around town. “Our seniors are happy to reacquaint with old friends, make new friends, eat together and find new programs to uplift their spirits,” Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. This year, Activities Center Director Erin Lally and her team organized outings to Best of Parma locations, scheduled tours to senior living facilities and increased transportation services. “When I saw the Best of Parma contest winners, I thought everyone would enjoy getting around town together and experiencing the best of what our city offers,” Lally said.

Activities Coordinator Sandy Perkins made prior arrangements with Best of Parma destinations. Members registered in advance for the ride and paid for their own food. It was a win-win. Local small businesses gained new customers, and seniors found new places to explore. The center plans to continue the program in 2023.

Lally said Parma Living Week was her take on the county’s Livable Cuyahoga campaign. “Our spin on this was to highlight some of the living opportunities in our city if a senior needs to move from his or her home but wants to stay close to home.” Every day for a week, the Activities Center transported a group to a different living community. Next year, visits will run every other month. “I had no idea what some of these places are like and how much they cost. This will help me make a good choice if I ever need to move,” said member Walter Olczak.

Two full-time and two-part-time drivers transport seniors by bus or car anywhere they want to go, including, of course, to the Activities Center. To request a ride, members simply call Transportation Coordinator Brenda Sneed at 440-885-8156, preferably two weeks in advance.

Senior members give the “Uber” service five stars. Linda Pike wrote, “If you want to join us at the Activities Center but need transportation, just call. The drivers are wonderful! Come on out and meet people and make new friends.”

Carolyn Kovach

Carolyn Johns Kovach

Director of Communications, City of Parma, Mayor's Office

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 10:57 AM, 12.01.2022