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Beline Obeid
Grosse Pointers gathered at the Friday, June 7, ribbon cutting of Services for Older Citizens new facility in Grosse Pointe Farms. Attending the ribbon cut- ting from left, Kate Williams Smith, Megan Maher Brennan, Bill Scott, Robert Fortunate, William J. Champion, Kevin Killebrew, Sharon Maier, Roberta Simone, John Boll, Nancy Cotton, Marlene A. Boll, Sue Davies, Marita Grobbel, Kristine Mestdagh, Michael Babiarz, Cathy Champion, Regan Stolarski and Mary Alice Worrell.

June 13, 2013
As one journey ended, a new one began

So said Services for Older Citizens president Bill Champion during Friday's ribbon cutting for the organization's new facility.

"This is the end of a long journey for the 35 years SOC has been around," he said. "We have a home of our own."

Formerly housed in Barnes School, then the Neighborhood Club, the newly renovated, updated and handicap accessible Newberry House behind the Henry Ford Cottage Hospital is now home to SOC.

"It's renovated to serve seniors in our community for many years to come," Champion said. "This will be a treasured community asset."

"It's a big day, a big day, a big day," said Sharon Maier, SOC's director. "We planned this day for all of you."

The three-story brick structure has both large and small meeting rooms, a computer room, a cafe, a commercial-size kitchen and offices. SOC will offer all the standbys five days a week — classes, trips, exercise sessions, socialization, games, movies, meals and speakers discussing topics of importance to seniors including health, financial and safety issues. Wayne County Community College District is to offer educational classes this fall. Additionally, the building is wired for Wi-Fi.

"This is impressive to me," said Bill Scott, vice president of marketing. "There are so many people who don't know about it (SOC). It's such a huge asset to the community. It's adding to the dignity of life."

SOC trustee Regan Stolarski echoed Scott's sentiments saying the new facility provides exceptional care for seniors for many years. "This is all encapsulating and giving them respect."

Also praised were John and Marlene Boll who donated $500,000 as a challenge grant.

"Marlene and I are proud and pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of this ... to share, to see things like this develop," Boll said prior to the ribbon cutting.

Once the ribbon was cut and Sander's hot fudge sundaes were served guests who toured the building.

Rose David of Grosse Pointe Woods stopped in the third-floor gathering room where movies can be shown and said she plans on returning for lunch.

Richard and Gail Burkholder of Grosse Pointe Farms said they will also return —Richard to watch a movie and his wife to play bingo.

"There's a nice variety of choice at a reasonable price," he said.

For more information about SOC's offerings, call (313) 882-9600 or visit the new building at 158 Ridge, Grosse Pointe Farms, where there are 22 free parking spaces.

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