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Senior Center celebrates 11 years

Maija Hunter (center left) and Geoffrey Hunter (center right) dance during the Malibu Senior Center’s 11-year anniversary celebration. Chris Bashaw/22nd Century Media
Barry Katz (left) dances with Helen Karagozian.
Chris Bashaw, Assistant Editor
1:09 pm PDT April 7, 2014

The Malibu Senior Center celebrated its 11th anniversary with food, fun and dancing to tunes on Thursday, April 3, at Malibu City Hall.

City of Malibu recreation supervisor Theresa Odello said the turnout for the event, located in the City Hall’s multipurpose room, accumulated to more than 90 people.

Odello said she expected the relatively high turnout because of the number of RSVP notices she received, but was still pleased to see “a lot of smiles and people enjoying themselves.”

“Even last year, during our big 10-year anniversary event, we expected a lot of people and we got 80, but now it’s 90 people,” she said. “The Senior Center is growing and we are proud that we are able to address the needs of the Malibu residents. We currently have 846 people on our mailing list that are members of the Senior Center.”

According to the City of Malibu’s 2013 Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the City anticipates approximately 40 percent of its population to be 55 years old or older by the year 2025. According to the 2010 United States Census, Malibu residents ages 65 and older constituted 18.4 percent of the City’s population, whereas in the State of California, the percentage is 11.4 percent. 

“Having a strong Senior Center is definitely a need for the community,” Odello said. “For turning 11, we’ve had a lot of growth in recent years. Our seniors are enjoying our activities and we’re providing them better than ever.”

Two rows of tables book-ended an aisle leading from the entrance of the multipurpose room to the dance floor, where attendees swing danced to tunes such as those from big band legend Glenn Miller and 1940s jazz artist Nat King Cole, as performed by The Sophisticats.

“The dance floor is busier than it’s ever been,” Odello said. “Now we’re fighting for spots on the dance floor and it’s fun to see people getting up and dancing, even some of them with canes.”

Attendance records for prior anniversary celebrations, Odello said, have been on an upward trend in recent years, but it’s not just parties celebrating the Senior Center’s inception that she has noticed to be on the rise.

“I believe our turnouts are an upward trend and I believe they’re progressing because there’s more activities begin offered,” Odello said. “There’s a vast variety of activities, from Shakespeare plays to stretching, therapeutic yoga and dancing. It’s because we’re offering so many more different things that I think people are coming to more and more events.”

Sponsors for the event included Duke’s Malibu, Vintage Grocers, Cosentino’s Florist, Meadowbrook Assisted Living, Meals on Wheels, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Agoura Hills Floral Design and others.

The Malibu Senior Center opened its doors in 2003 at Malibu City Hall’s old location, but moved with City Hall to its current location at 23825 Stuart Ranch Road in Malibu.

For more information on the Malibu Senior Center, visit www.malibucity.org