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Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Greater Palm Bay Senior Center hosted an appreciation dinner theater for the many volunteers who have selflessly given over the past year on October
20th. The Mystery Theater in Orlando sent their traveling Sleuth Theater to the Senior Center for an evening of entertainment and mystery solving.

The Center, located at 1275 Culver Road, NE in Palm Bay is staffed entirely by volunteers such as Vice President Esther Carosi, originally from Pennsylvania, who believes, “The key to retirement is keeping busy.”

Carosi moved to Palm Bay in 1991, to be near her children and grandchildren, thinking that she was settling into a small town, but has been amazed at the growth of the area. The Senior Center which is funded entirely through efforts of the volunteer members has more than 4,000 members, and a group of dedicated volunteers who unselfishly give of their talents, time, and energy to work in the Center workshop. More than 200 enthusiastic members have donated personal time and efforts to a variety of local projects.

In 2004, Palm Bay High School opened its Academy of Law and Public Safety which offered students who are interested in careers in law enforcement the option of to earn college credits without commitment, while they determined if they wanted to pursue careers in law. One thing was missing, however. The volunteers from the Greater Palm Bay Senior Center filled that gap by building a Law Library at the school.

Center volunteers also rebuilt the 21 foot trailer that is used as a mobile Command Post for the Palm Bay Police Department, giving law enforcement personnel a renovated and modern place from which to protect and serve the area citizens. As well, the hard-working volunteers spent their spare time working on the memorial signs for the City of Palm Bay, building ramps for handicapped members, and processing collected aluminum cans before delivering them to be recycled.

To join the Greater Palm Bay Senior Center, members must be at least 55 years old, but there is no limit beyond that. Eighty year old Earl Hill supervised many of the construction projects, and several 90 year old members are active volunteers, rather than sitting idly by. The Center has an outstanding outreach program for seriously ill children and has adopted Palm Bay Elementary School, providing much needed supplies for the students.

Not content to simply be a Senior Center where people go to play Bingo and eat lunch, the officers of the Greater Palm Bay Senior Center juggle hectic schedules to accommodate a full calendar with events such as Joint Therapy sessions, billiards, computer classes, bocce games, traveling choral groups, aerobics, line dancing, arts, crafts, and of course, card games.

Carosi said of fifteen year President Marge Knopf, “Without her guidance, this center would not be the success that it is today.”

Anyone interested in joining the Greater Palm Bay Senior Center may visit the center at 1275 Culver Road NE, Palm Bay, or call the center at 321-724-1338 between the hours of 8am-4pm.