The Rochester Senior Center celebrated the renewal of its national accreditation with a reception on Thursday. Speakers included director Sharon Lally, Massachusetts Secretary of Elder Affairs Ann Hartstein, National Institute of Senior Centers Accreditation Program Coordinator Maureen Arsenault O’Leary, and super-volunteer Jean Armstrong. “You’ve made this senior center what it is,” Armstrong told the crowd. “And it’s the heart of the community. I love each and every person here, and I hope you love us.”
Seventy-three people comprising nine committees came together for more than a year to prepare the Rochester Senior Center’s organization, bylaws, and operations for its second five-year accreditation. “We need the cooperation and the collaboration from all of the community people, so it’s important they’re here today,” Lally said. “It was a real commitment. It meant a lot to me to have so many people vested in the process.”
Of the 215 senior centers nationwide, 120 are currently accredited.
“A senior center is what you make it, and when you have a leader like Sharon, who really pulls everyone together, that’s what makes for a success,” Arsenault O’Leary said. “There are larger senior centers, but none that has the heart of the Rochester Senior Center.”
Photos by Shawn Badgley.