Sherwood's community center is a hidden gem
No need to reach the age of 65 to enjoy the amenities provided at the Marjorie Stewart Senior Community Center in Sherwood. There are plenty of activities for all ages.
Center manager Maiya Martin Burbank has the task of keeping the wheels turning at the facility, which is located at 21907 S.W. Sherwood Blvd.
"We cater to people's physical needs, mental needs and social needs," Martin Burbank said.
There is no membership fee at the Marjorie Stewart Community Center.
"Anybody is welcome here, even if you're not a senior," Martin Burbank said. "We are here to, typically, serve seniors — but we're open to the community."
It can seem hard to keep up on all of the activities and programs offered at the center. Among the amenities: ballroom dancing, classes, lectures from professors at George Fox University, workshops from Washington County and a live band every Wednesday.
Exercise programs include Strong for Life (in partnership with Providence), tai chi and chair aerobics.
The center will be offering a six-week pain management class on Fridays at 1 p.m., starting Oct. 4. Information on all activities at the center can be found at sherwoodoregon.gov.
All of these activities may boost your appetite. Not to worry — the community center offers lunch every Monday through Friday at noon.
"We have a wonderful chef," Martin Burbank said, referring to Dominic Sachet, who prepares center meals. "His presentation is wonderful, and the art and care in his food preparation and presentation really shows the community how much they're cared for.
"He makes gourmet, marvelous, delicious, basically from-scratch meals."
One of Sachet's most popular features is "breakfast all day." (It's exactly what it sounds like.)
The meal cost for those ages 55 and older is $4. For those under 55, the cost is $6. All are welcome at the meals.
Sachet, affectionately referred to as Chef Dominic, will be offering a cooking series, which will run through December. He'll teach many aspects of cooking, including how to build soup stocks and how to make sauces. Information will be available on the website.
As we approach the holiday season, the center is gearing up for special events.
"Our Halloween party will be on Halloween," Martin Burbank said. "Everybody dresses up. We have a costume parade. Dominic does some fun things with the meals."
Two events are held in November. Veterans Day is observed.
"We also have a big Thanksgiving meal the Friday before Thanksgiving," Martin Burbank said,. "Dominic brines and roasts several turkeys, and they're delicious."
One of the Marjorie Stewart Senior Community Center's most delightful features is the Butterfly Boutique, located near the entrance.
"It's consignment and donations that people either make or have at home," Martin Burbank said. Proceeds go to the Friends of the Sherwood Senior Center to help fund scholarship programs.
At the boutique, you can find hand-made cards, knitted crochet items, scarves and wooden toys.
The Marjorie Stewart Senior Community Center started in 1982 and has a rich history.
"After raising a family in the area, and serving as mayor of Sherwood, Marjorie Stewart saw the need for a community center and was able to use a community block grant to build and create the center," Martin Burbank explained. "She was very involved in the community and stayed on for five years as a volunteer director of the center."
According to Martin Burbank, the center was run by a charity organization that Marjorie Stewart helped create called Senior Citizens Inc. Then the Meals on Wheels People came in. After Meals on Wheels left in July 2017, the city took over management of day-to-day programming.
The center currently is city-run, -managed and -financed.
While Martin Burbank and Sachet staff the community center, volunteers are always needed.
"Volunteers are an integral part of running the center, day-to-day," Martin Burbank said. "We have kitchen volunteers who help with meal prep, cleanup and service. We have front desk volunteers."
Program volunteers can also help with classes.
Martin Burbank has lots of energy keeping the facility operating. And a great side benefit is making friends.
"I love talking to people and meeting people," Martin Burbank said. "I have hundreds of friends, basically, from working here. I am also able to have fun and provide everyday activities for people, which I love."
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