Welcome 2020 and welcome to each of you, whether a long time or brand new participant at Ballard NW Senior Center. I hope you will join us for a fantastic year ahead. It should be spectacular. Before looking at some 2020 highlights, let me take a quick look back at a wonderful but challenging 2019.
It was a very good year and we accomplished a lot. We are delighted with our new partnerships with SeaMar, and our expanded program with Gen Pride. Our lunch program with Chef Lori is truly outstanding. We’ve offered so many great programs and services to help us all be all we can be.
Throughout the year, we offered 1,604 opportunities for exercise that keeps us all healthy and moving well. Our health and wellness and educational classes and programs are impressive and varied. We have daily activities to socialize and be with other people which is important to aging well. Studies have shown and we now know that positive socialization, exercise, arts, and laughter contribute to our overall well-being and lessen the blues. We have a real community here at Ballard NW and we truly are the “friendly center.” Don’t walk alone. Be part of your center and all we offer.
Our challenge for 2019 was financial as none of the centers received the support from King County that we had anticipated for the year. The rest of our fundraising was right on target. Thanks to all who made a year end donation. We reached our match goal and beyond. Our financials for 2019 will not be finalized until mid-March, so watch for updates in the coming weeks.
2020 holds great promise and we look forward to all we will do together. We continue to reach more and more individuals to join our services and activities. We continue to offer the best of our current programs, while always trying new things that will expand and enrich our participants’ lives.
We have several new classes and groups like, Walk Learn and Cook with Chef Lori, a new Parkinson’s Chair Yoga group and a Parkinson’s support group, and a new fitness class for LGBTQ seniors will start soon. We are excited that the daily Balance Class, and Laughter Yoga Group is so popular. We have interesting speakers, fun and exciting trips, good opportunities for continued educational growth and, of course, you know how exciting Chef Lori’s delicious and nutritious lunches are each day.
Our fundraisers are planned and we hope you will join us for Rainbow Bingo Feb 7th, and the Rummage Sale Fri-Sat, Feb 21 & 22 and of course our spectacular Al Hovland Memorial $pring for $eniors Auction Gala on Sunday, March 29th. This will be our biggest and best yet. Make your plans to attend.
I will continue to present some positive healthy ideas each month as we want 2020 to be our best year yet and being happy, kind, and positive is very important for each of our well-being. In that spirit do remember that “laughter really can be the best medicine.” Sometimes the long days of winter, colds, and gray days can get a person a little down. The psychological effects of laughter are well known but laughter may also have physiological benefits. It stimulates the body’s organs, increases oxygen to the heart, lungs, muscles, and stimulates the brain to release more endorphins which can ease stress and tension, lower blood pressure, relieve pain, and improve mood. Laughter stimulates memories and improves mental acuity in the elderly. Sounds like a great remedy for all of us. Laugh and enjoy and may 2020 be fantastic for each of us.