Southwest Philadelphia: Having Fun at Any Age

Several senior citizens enjoy their lunch at the Southwest Senior Center.
Several senior citizens enjoy their lunch at the Southwest Senior Center.

Located at 6916-23 Elmwood Ave., the Southwest Senior Center acts as a hang out for individuals 60 years old and up. With a general membership for only $15 per year seniors are entitled to all the amenities the Southwest Senior Center has to offer, including pottery, ceramics, painting, line dancing, game room, art gallery, bible study and computer labs. Partnering with Patterson Elementary School and Bartram High School, seniors are also able to participate in a volunteer and mentoring program in order to help unite the intergenerational gap.

“The senior center is just great. I’ve belonged here for about 15 years. It gives me something to do. It gives me a chance to get out and be active, and at my age that’s hard to do. The people here are my second family,” said 76-year- old Jacob Jones.

Jacob Jones boasts about the numerous activities the center offers to seniors.

Funded solely by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, the Southwest Senior Center is coming up on its 22nd anniversary in November. With about 300 active members ranging anywhere from 60 to 90 years old, Paulette Cunningham, center director, has high hopes for the future.

“We pride ourselves on offering a well structured facility for senior citizens. Here, they have a chance to exercise in our gym, show their creativity with art classes and have a nice meal with fellow seniors,” she said. “At the Southwest Senior Center, seniors can have fun no matter what their age is.”

George Apotsos, pottery instructor, Paulette Cunningham, center director and Linda Marucci, social worker enjoy working at the center.

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