The Greeley Active Adult Center is committed to providing a variety of opportunities so that being active can be a way of life. Seniors can socialize at the center, through trips or one of our many programs. We offer a wide array of clubs, sports, SilverSneakers® fitness programs, special events, health and safety seminars, travel opportunities, sporting events, museums and more.
Doris Gilreath has been a Greeley Active Adult member for many years and heads up the “Friendly Fork” Weld County Senior Nutrition Program. The AAC offers lunches on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:15am and an evening meal on Tuesdays at 5pm during the summer months. Greeley Recreation sat down with Doris to learn more about how she is giving back to her community:
How did you become involved with the Greeley Active Adult Center (AAC)?
I am the third-generation member of the Greeley Active Adult Center. My grandmother was on the board that started the senior center and my mother worked the nutrition program. When I retired from my job of teaching preschool and helping at the daycare center, my husband and I both started volunteering—that was 16 years ago.
Tell us about the “Friendly Fork” Weld County Senior Nutrition Program and how it works.
The program is so important because there are many seniors who eat alone and at the AAC, you will share a meal with friends. We have a dietitian who keeps the meals balanced and healthy. University of Northern Colorado (UNC) delivers the food to the AAC and then volunteers set the tables, serve the food, clean up and everything else.
How many volunteers help?
We have about 27 volunteers who are just outstanding, a great bunch of seniors. It is a community—there are quite a few widows and widowers, all of us have each other. We talk about the menus, what’s good and what isn’t. We have a sheet that we fill out that rates the food, or if there is something we’d like to see on the menu, we share our ideas. The coordinator, Meredith Skoglund, Weld County Senior Nutrition Coordinator, does a beautiful job of it and she always takes our comments. We have a lot of opportunity for feedback.
What other opportunities are offered during mealtimes?
Once a month or so, we will have a policeman, fireman, or other organizations come in and give a short talk before the meal share information about fraud, safety in your homes, what to look out for and things like that. Assisted living facilities come in and discuss what their programs are, when you can’t live alone anymore, what options are out there—information that is strictly for the 50+ community. And it’s very important to be prepared.
What do you love about the AAC?
If you bring an idea or project to the staff, they will get everything lined up and all the things done for it to be put into place. All of these ideas: Cornhole or Car Group came about that way; if you have an idea about something, bring it to them and they’ll work on it. And I think that’s great. We have a say in our community. I like the growth of the place, I remember when we had 500 members and thought we were really big—now we have over 1,200.
Doris Gilreath celebrates her 80th birthday next month. With plans for travel and spending time with family, she will be stepping down from her positions at the AAC next year. Greeley Recreation appreciates everything Doris has done for our community and wishes her the best on her new adventures.
Michelle Patterson, Marketing Assistant