A home away from home

MARSHALL – It was a full house at the Adult Community Center on Thursday afternoon, with music playing, cake and refreshments, and even some card games breaking out.

“Somebody always has a deck of cards,” said Community Center director Barb Lipinski. Since 1988, the Community Center has been the setting for countless card games, noon meals, classes and special events. But as the center celebrated its 25th anniversary, it was local people who were the real focus of it all.

“It is truly about each and every one of you,” Lipinski said to the audience during a short program and open house held Thursday. The Community Center has become a gathering place for everyone, young and old, she said.

The people in attendance at the celebrations were inclined to agree.

“It’s someplace to go. It’s like a home away from home,” said Mary Henderson. Henderson was one of the volunteers helping to organize and host the celebrations Thursday. Henderson said she comes to the Community Center a few times a week for senior dining. It’s always been a good experience, she said.

“There are lots of good activities and good people,” Henderson said of the Community Center.

Mary Snobl, the first director of the Adult Community Center, and Marshall Area Senior Citizens president Darwin Leek both spoke at the open house.

Leek said his experiences getting to know area residents through M.A.S.C. have been “wonderful.” Marshall area seniors have a wealth of experience and leadership skills to draw on – and a lot of great stories, he said.

“We’ve learned more about Lyon County and Marshall from you folks than we can possibly imagine,” Leek told audience members.

The drive among area seniors to be active in the Marshall area community was actually something that started about 50 years ago, Snobl said. A group of local people concerned about shut-ins in the community began to organize and reach out to other senior citizens.

“They were really responsible for why we’re sitting here today,” Snobl said. The Senior Citizens group grew, and in the 1980s, Marshall voters passed a referendum to build the Adult Community Center. Snobl said that success wouldn’t have been possible without the vision and passion of area seniors.

“You are our resource,” she told audience members. Snobl challenged area residents to keep the Community Center going strong for another 25 years.