Lenox Community Center
September 21, 2016
Attendance: Sheri Gaherty, Kim Graham-Director, Rose Fitzgerald Casey, Tony Patella- Chairman, Steve Coon, and Francie Sorrentino. Mike Cooney joined us at 6:29pm.
Public Comment: NONE
Acceptance of May 18th, 2016 Minutes: Rose made the motion to accept- Sheri seconded the motion. Minutes accepted.
Senior Report: June, July, and August are being summarized in tonight’s report. Our Annual Picnic was a huge success, the Zink Band came and entertained 60 plus of our seniors. Melbourne Place did the food and a good time was had by all. Our Special Restaurant Lunches began there today (9/21/16) from the Lenox Club. Chicken Divan, Rice, Cookies, etc. were served. This proved to be a nice day for our guests, hosted by Donna Lefkowitz.
The Center handed our 70 Farmers Market Booklets from the State. The Coupon Booklets can be used either here in Lenox or in Pittsfield Farmer’s Market’s.
The Beginner Mahjong Class has grown into a dedicated group who meet each week to play. Mahjong is looking for new members as some of our players will be going south for the winter and those remaining would like to continue to play. The Poker league is also looking for new members.
The Monthly Book Club is also popular, books being discussed are scheduled through December, and then Mary Jane Collins who leads the group will be going south as well. Those staying in Lenox may wish to continue on reading meeting.
The nutritionist at Elder Services, Marilyn Wiley was back again in September to talk about sodium to our lunch group. Marilyn did not prepare any food for the crew, it was discussing sodium…..not as engaging as when Marilyn prepares food for them.
“Sidebar”, our legal aid program starts up again this week with Nick Parsenios coming to speak with our seniors who may need legal advice.
Dave Pugh from Lenox High School will hopefully be willing to hose the Smart Phone tutoring again. Students from the high school who are National Honor Society members come and teach our seniors how to manage a Smart Phone. This was very popular last year.
Our van was full of seniors taking them to the Beacon Cinema earlier this month to see the movie Florence Foster Jenkins. The movie is based on a true story about an older woman’s desire to be an opera singer. It was a fun afternoon; many of our seniors stated that is had been a very long time since they were in a movie theater.
Sue recently had a training with our Printer, and starting with the October newsletter, it will be 6 pages and in color. Sue will be able to include actual photos of our seniors etc. and perhaps draw more attention to our newsletter.
The van is always busy; five new people utilized the van over the summer. June and July were quite busy, August and September have been noticeably slower-mostly on Mondays and Tuesdays. The numbers for shopping trips remain steady with Fridays being the busiest. Sue completed many outreach visits and referrals during the past couple of months. Many were follow-up phone calls as well as home and office visits for phones, food stamps, meals on wheels, SHINE, and housing issues, along with help in housekeeping and volunteering here at the Center.
Youth Services Report: We had 119 pre-registered kids before school started. Thanks to Jen, she worked hard promoting the programs and getting the word out. We currently host 131 kids registered for our After School/Game Room Membership. There are 98 elementary aged children, and 33 middle Schooler’s. We notice a huge spike in our 6th to 8th grade group.
Each week we had an average of seventy-five kids for Camp. After Camp Care was utilized more this year than it was in the past two years, with an estimated ½ to ¾ of the kids staying until 5:00pm most days.
Our staff and CIT’s were wonderful this year despite numerous behavioral issues with the campers. We explored four new field trips this summer, trying to keep things more local and bust trips a bit shorter. We also added a few new theme weeks, one of which was “Discover your Town”, teaching the campers all about Lenox. We traveled to The Lupa Zoo, the Pittsfield Suns, Berkcirque Circus Camp and Lake Mansfield, and Barrington Stage for a workshop and to see The Wiz. The kids loved The Barrington Stage field trip. We ended the summer once again at Grahamville, thank you Kim and Tom Graham for opening your home and pool to our kids and crew for the end of year gathering.
The kids came up with a “wish list”, Kim said that she would meet them half way, they covered bulletin boards, put up hooks for their backpacks, we now offer Ramen Noodles for snack, Beach Friday’s, and we learned that respect gets respect. We introduced “News to You” to our 10-12 year old group trying to incorporate an educational aspect and to give the campers some time to adjust and get their brains working in the mornings. For our age 6 to 9 year olds we offered a “Book Club” which ran each morning after Circle Time from 9:15-9:40am. We also discussed current events and goings on around the town, county, and country. Different topics discussed were Face book and social media, the Olympics, cell phones, prolonging the school year, and raising money for good causes. Our
Town Manager, Chris Ketchen even joined us one morning to interact with the Campers and to discuss issues they felt were important to them around Lenox. This was a nice addition to our “Discover Your town” them week. We hope to keep this for next years Camp, however, some tweaking needs to be done so our kids are not bored or feel that they are in school. And of course our end of summer Talent Show was a big hit as usual.
Our after school program is off to a great start. Returning to our staff at the Center this year are Sara Giovine, Mo Gaherty, Molly O’Brien, Lainie Blair, and Tyler Shepard. They all show great enthusiasm and all of our staff has worked here at the Center both during the school year and Summer Camp. Sara brings with her a great deal of experience working as a private nanny and in home day care in Lenox. Mo, Molly, Lainie, and Tyler are all entering their senior year at Lenox and have been a positive influence of the Community Center.
The Homework room continues to be popular after school, and has been full everyday since we opened. We are fortunate to have a senior tax work off participants Rose and new edition Edna to help out the kids with their studies.
We are offering Hip Hop with Sara on Mondays and Chess with Richard on Tuesdays. We have decided to hold off on Hockey with Matt until the weather gets colder. Tim Blair joins us to teach Model Building on Thursdays. Sewing with Deb Carter will be back around in October, as well as a new edition of Flag Football for the kids with Wendy Allergrone-Leslie, who has offered the program and her time to the Center. Emma Huber will also be back around in October with her Illustration Class. We have many great things on the horizon!
Adult Beginner Yoga is still going strong on Thursday night, Susannah Gale, from Kripalu in Lenox says that she has a group of regulars that really enjoy the class.
Soccer started September 10th; it is off to an awesome start. Having GPS Stateline with Simon and Mark was exactly what the program needed. We had 65 kids register between the five age groups; this is one less child than last year. Along with Simon and mark come both GPSD coaches and players, some of whom are Lenox High players. The kids are getting great instruction and the sessions are a bit longer this year. Both parents and players seem very satisfied. Please check out the pictures on the LCC Face book page.
Kim and Jen have put together the Annual Holiday trip, which will be to New York City. A show will not be included this year; it will be a day to let people plan their own day once we arrive in the City. However, we do have a discount code and contact name for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Show if people would like to see that while we are there. The trip is planned for Saturday, December 3rd. Please join us!
Directors Report: Fees: Kim shares that in talking with Chris Ketchen we have a Lenox Resident rate and a non-Lenox Resident rate. We currently host 37 non-Lenox kids. Chris suggests us dropping the non-Resident rate. We are concerned about behavioral issues with so many out of town kids- perhaps we need to charge more….food for thought, maybe have a separate school vacation rate.
Spring Project: Senior Lounge/Trust Fund; Kim sat down with Chris Ketchen and discussed goals and such. Kim would like to have another avenue for our seniors, perhaps make the Homework Room into a Senior Lounge with 2 computers, sofa, large screen TV, coffee station, news papers, etc. “A place to gather”. Kim spoke with Channing (our LCC liaison) to start the process. This would not be a Budget line item; Kim wants to use the COA Trust Fund, spending about $4,000.00 to $5,000.00. Tony is going to talk with Channing.
Heating System: Heat? We have no HEAT! Engineering went to EDM they walked through today it will be bid out; we are now renting a portable heating unit- duct into the building in the spring time. We are looking possibly 3 boilers throughout the building, Chris Ketchen states that it could possibly cost $500,000.00 or so.
Beach Update: Nothing happening Clark and Green has been hired on September 1, 2016 and as of today there has been no further movement on the project.
Roof Update: The Roof is leaking badly; ceiling in the Ballroom has come in. No more patch work- will get painted and will hold through the winter months.
The LCC board is still running with 6 members, we need to come up with a 7th member.
New/Old Business: Tony asks about the Tillitson Field third base line, Kim responded that it is being dug up next week.
Jen our Youth Director may be leaving us to join her boyfriend in North Hampton.
Meeting adjourned @ 7:28pm
Francie Sheehan Sorrentino