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Constantia Senior Activity Site Celebrates First Anniversary

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</p>Deirdre McCarthy (l), manager of OCO's Senior Dining and Activity Center in Constantia, and Mary Eddicus (r) check in on the progress of their ‘grass heads' project.  As one of their many activities, seniors at the site filled pantyhose socks with dirt and grass seed to make their own decorative ‘grass heads'.  The ‘grass heads' were watered often to make the grass grow and decorated with eyes, ears, and other features to make them unique.  The center, which is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am – 2pm, serves approximately 70 seniors a week.
Deirdre McCarthy (l), manager of OCO's Senior Dining and Activity Center in Constantia, and Mary Eddicus (r) check in on the progress of their ‘grass heads' project. As one of their many activities, seniors at the site filled pantyhose socks with dirt and grass seed to make their own decorative ‘grass heads'. The ‘grass heads' were watered often to make the grass grow and decorated with eyes, ears, and other features to make them unique. The center, which is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am – 2pm, serves approximately 70 seniors a week.

Thanks to the efforts of Oswego County Opportunities, seniors in the Constantia and North Shore area have been able to look forward to enjoying a hot meal with their friends and neighbors and participating in a variety of social activities.]

Opened just over a year ago, OCO’s Senior Dining and Activity Center in Constantia has been a popular destination for both the seniors who attend and the many area volunteers who come out to spend time with the seniors and lend a hand.  Open each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am – 2pm, the Senior Dining and Activity Center serves approximately 70 seniors a week.  Center Manager, Deirdre McCarthy credits the success to the welcoming atmosphere that the Center offers its visitors.

“We have a nice sense of community at our site.  The seniors who attend recognize that our friendly volunteers genuinely care for their well-being.  They truly feel welcome and visit us on a regular basis.  The number of people who come to the Center has been steadily increasing and I am proud that our seniors feel comfortable here,” said McCarthy.  A native of Limerick City, Ireland, McCarthy humbly offers that a special touch of Irish hospitality may also have a bit to do with the Center’s success.  “We came up with a pet name for the Center to make it sound like a cozy place to visit…”Bernadette’s Bistro.”  We even have a lovely Celtic logo that was designed by one of our volunteers, Sharon Johnston.”

In addition to offering meals to seniors, McCarthy and her volunteer staff attend to the welfare of homebound clients through telephone calls and arranging for friendly home visits and create and implement a schedule of events that includes bunco, bingo, card games, arts & crafts days, guest speakers, themed parties, and health and wellness activities. The Constantia Senior Dining and Activity Center has also hosted several special events during its first year including a Senior Olympics and a Constantia Bicentennial Party.  “Our volunteers work very hard to put these special events together and our seniors look forward to them.  As the winter months approach we are hoping to purchase a Wii Nintendo system so the seniors can keep active while indoors,” said McCarthy.

Located at Saint Bernadette’s Church in Constantia, OCO’s Dining and Activity Center serves the Constantia and North Shore area.  “We are very fortunate that Fr. Mathis, Pastor of St. Bernadette’s, graciously allows us to use the hall for our Center.  We are thankful indeed and I encourage all seniors in Constantia and the North Shore area to visit our Senior Dining and Activity Center.  They are welcome to stop by to reacquaint with old friends and make many new friends,” added McCarthy.

For more information on OCO’s Senior Dining and Activity Center in Constantia you may contact Deirdre McCarthy at 623-9803.  For more information on OCO’s Senior Services Division you may contact Trinity Engle at 598-4712.

OCO Inc. is a not-for-profit Community Action Agency, supported by United Way, and includes seven service divisions – Senior Services, Transportation, Mental Hygiene, Health, Youth, Services to Aid Families, and Children’s.  For more information visit their Web Site at www.oco.org.