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Staunton Senior Center to Celebrate 40th Anniversary - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Staunton Senior Center to Celebrate 40th Anniversary

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The Staunton Senior Center is marking 40 years of service and advocacy for the city's most mature citizens, and this weekend's celebration will offer them quite a shindig.

The Staunton Senior Center is more than just a place where retirees gather for bingo games, crafts and socializing.  It hosts community forums ranging from city council elections to elder-abuse prevention, and it's the headquarters for Meals On Wheels deliveries.

The Staunton Senior Center is now located at Gypsy Hill Place, but has had four other homes over the years.  Its first one opened inside the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in 1972.  The center's first mission was to offer support for the people who were "deinstitutionalized" from Virginia's mental health facilities.

"They were discharging people right and left from the Western State Hospital into the community," said Kit Carter, the first senior center director.  "But there were no services in the community to help these people.  So we were, most of our people were from the Western State Hospital."

The Staunton Senior Center will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday night at the Gypsy Hill Park gymnasium.  The guest list will include some of the center's founders and early volunteers.

The party will feature a benefit dance to the big band sounds of the Charlottesville-based "Sentimental Journey."  Click here for ticket information. 

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