For nearly 20 years, Mary Steinmetz has worked to provide a place for Milford seniors to relive old memories while learning new or bygone skills.
“People enjoy coming here and they say it’s like their second home,” says Steinmetz, whose last day as Milford Senior Center program director is Nov. 1.
“We try to have something for everybody,” she says.
Current programs offer something for the mind and body; they range from language and computer classes to pickleball to arts and crafts to yoga.
In any given week, 17 teachers come to the center to instruct Milford seniors, who pay $10 a year for all classes. Steinmetz says if she learns that a senior has a knack at something, she’ll try and work that particular activity into the calendar.
Naturally, the demand for certain programs has faded while the popularity of others has grown.
Country western line dancing, which was big when Steinmetz started in the 90s, has now taken a back seat to Latin line dancing. And then there are activities like knitting, which “was out of style but now is back,” says Steinmetz.
The longtime program director adds that an increasing number of seniors are coming to the center for exercise.
“People used to come just for fun; now they come for health reasons,” she says.
And perhaps it’s that trend which led to the choice of Steinmetz’s successor, Amanda Berry, who’s coming from the Woodruff Family YMCA where she served as the wellness and fitness director.
As for Steinmetz, she’s looking forward to her “free time” in retirement. But she is happy to have spent her time on the clock at the Milford Senior Center.
“I was lucky to have a job I loved and work at a place I was very proud to be part of,” she says.