WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Community involvement is important for people of all ages, especially seniors. Lydia Tanori hopes that as president of the Bill Williams Senior Center, she can find more ways for seniors to stay active.
Tanori became senior center president Jan. 1. One of her responsibilities is to help organize trips and events. Her goal is to find more events that seniors are interested in and arrange for them to attend.
"A lot of these people don't get out much because they don't have families here or for whatever reason, but they need to do something," she said.
Tanori has been involved with the senior center since long before the current building was constructed. She has lived in Williams for 62 years and worked with the U.S. Forest Service for 25 years.
"When I retired, I thought, 'Gosh, what am I going to do with all this time?'" she said. After considering getting a part-time job, Tanori decided to volunteer in the senior center's thrift shop, where they needed the help. She has volunteered there for 12 years.
"We don't charge much for anything," she said. "And you should see the stuff that comes there." The money the thrift store makes goes back to the senior center.
Tanori said seniors can take advantage of several activities and services at the senior center.
The center provides a free shuttle to take seniors to medical appointments or to shopping areas in Flagstaff.
"A lot of people, that's the only means of them getting up there," she said.
The center also has a Wii video game console for seniors to play.
"They are good at it, and they look forward to it," Tanori said of the participants.
One of Tanori's favorite activities at the senior center is playing bingo on Mondays.
"You'd be surprised, that makes a lot of difference for a lot of these people," she said.
Sometimes the participants donate the prizes for bingo winners and sometimes the prizes come from the thrift store.
Another important service the senior center provides is homemade lunches during the week. The center makes the meals available to seniors at a reduced price, and those who can't afford it are still welcome.
"A lot of them could use a meal now and then, something different," she said.
Tanori said she wishes more people would eat lunch at the senior center.
"There's more there that we would like to reach," she said. "We do have some that are very faithful. Some live alone and they look forward to this, and this is great."
Aside from the activities and services the center offers, seniors can come to the center just to enjoy each other's company. Tanori said some people go to the center to knit with other people, exchange recipes, or socialize.
"A lot of them come and just visit. And I think that's great," she said. "The thing is we want them to get out of where they are just to see something different, even if it's just for a walk."