Linwood Senior Center looking good after renovations

By The Active Age | July 1, 2024

Visitors might not recognize the Linwood Senior Center thanks to upgrades completed earlier this year.

Talk about getting the most bang for your buck.

Linwood Senior Center, run by Senior Services, Inc., leveraged a $6,762 grant from Central Plains Area Agency on Aging with its own fundraising and plenty of volunteer labor to give the center a major facelift.

“Our volunteers at Senior Services and Linwood are amazing,” said Cherise Langenberg, longtime director of the center. “Everybody pitched in.”

The Linwood center was one of many in CPAAA’s three-county area to receive grants funded by the federal stimulus package known as the American Rescue Plan.

Langenberg said the center, located in Linwood Park Recreation Center in south Wichita, had made three separate funding requests and “fortunately…they pretty much accepted every one of them.”

“We don’t get funding very often. I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude to improve our senior center.”
       The center closed for a week while work was underway. Volunteers from Senior Services, the center and Langenberg’s own family repainted the center. After considering several options, Langenberg went with a “country French blue” color scheme used in her dentist’s office, which she said has a calming effect on her.

“I thought that’s what we needed at the senior center.”

Diane Polk was one of the volunteers who helped paint the center.

Other improvements include new shelving and cabinets, desks for the computer lab, a wall-mounted electrical fireplace, speaker system with wireless microphone, refrigerator and big-screen television. The center has started a “wall of wisdom” featuring plaques containing sayings, Langenberg said, so that “people can come in and be inspired.” The center got new easels for art classes and a button maker to print “I love Linwood” buttons.

The city sent a crew to clean carpets and buff tile. The center also purged some furniture that had seen better days and declutter certain areas.

For costs not covered by the county grant, the center used its own funds. The center raises money through a store selling used and donated items and fundraisers like the biscuit-and-gravy dinner held in conjunction with its grand re-opening.

“We have two people run the store, and they’ve been doing amazing things with them,” Langenberg said.

She said a member who came in for help with his taxes let her know it was all worthwhile.

“He sat down and said, ‘My goodness, this is so nice.’ I almost started to cry because I knew to have a comment from that generation was a blessing. We didn’t go too froufrou or too basic.”

Other area senior centers and the grants they received are: 

Butler County

Andover, $7,000; Augusta, $7,500; Benton, $6,760; Cassoday, $7,475; Douglass, $6,529; El Dorado, $7,500; Leon, $3,293; Rose Hill, $7,500; Towanda, $7,500; Whitewater, $7,500.

Harvey County

Burrton, $7,500; $7,473; Sedgwick, $5,845; Hesston, $7,438; Halstead, $6,900.

Sedgwick County

Bel Aire, $2,949; Bentley, $2,474; Cheney, $577; Clearwater, $7,500; Derby, $7,500; Downtown, $5,237; Haysville, $6,612; La Familia, $7,425; Mount Hope, $6,500; Mulvane, $6,500; Northeast, $6,618; Orchard Park, $7,500; Park City, $6,525.