North Lyon County Senior Center
(The following information was taken from an article written by Ava Boline for the NLC Senior Center’s 10th -- an open house was held on July 12, 1994.)
Julia McGrew had a vision. She envisioned a distribution of hot meals for the elderly of Northern Lyon County. A Group of interested individuals visited senior centers in surrounding counties which already had active programs.
In the fall of 1981, Julia McGrew began collecting signatures and funds to reach the goal. A committee was formed in 1982 to see what was needed. Ideas and knowledge of legal procedures were obtained.
The first election of board officers for the North Lyon County Senior Center was held on March 10, 1983. The first officers were: Chairman - Amanda Parks; Vice Chairman - Ralph Aye; Secretary - Esther Holder; Treasure - Hildred Whittington; and Chaplin - Ralph Aye.
The group discussed finding a central location for the senior center. From three proposals, it was decided to accept the free offer of the Frank Johnson building on the corner of 5th and Main in Allen.
Work was needed to ready the building for use. Julia McGrew was named Project Director to receive monies and materials. It was said by Amanda Parks that Julia McGrew Showed "tireless and unselfish efforts for the community".
Many volunteer hours were spent getting the building ready. Some of the volunteers mentioned were: Dorothy Aye, Ralph Aye, Everett Cook, Bill Davidson, Marilyn Davidson, Charles Eastman, Dan Fagan, Esther Holder, Nelloise Jackson, Julia McGrew, Marcia Morgan, Pete Pykiet, Bill Seitz, Virgil Shellenberger, Bud Stout, Mabel Sweet, Martie Sweet, Ed Taber, Virgil Taber, Walter Thomas, Mike Wecker, John Whittington, and Bill Wilke.
The North Lyon County Senior Center opened in l984 with Wanda Spade as the manager until l989. One major undertaking in 1986, was a large quilt, consisting of 500 hours of work, by fourteen volunteers. Most of the work on this quilt was completed at the NLC Senior Center. It had beautifully embroidered livestock brands of ranches in the area.
An auction for the quilt was held during the Allen centennial in 1986. Rancher, Buster Wheat's high bid of $2600 went to the NLC Senior Center.
Due to the enterprising efforts of Esther Holder the Lyon County Clippers met weekly at the NLC senior center beginning in 1987. The group, consisting of seven members, faithfully clipped and dated articles from the Emporia Gazette and other publications. Any article about a person in Lyon County was clipped. These clippings were put in files and taken to the Lyon County Archives. This was the only group of its kind in the county. Many volunteer hours were spent by: Ava Boline, Ila Ferdinand, Nelloise Jackson, Esther Holder, Estella Marcotte, Alma Moore, and Wanola Pykiet. The Clippers group ceased activity in 2004
The second and present manager, Judy Parks, took this position in November l989. Monthly birthday parties and holiday celebrations are held throughout the year. Lunches are served 5 days a week at the center, plus carry-out deliveries for home bound citizens.
Children from the North Lyon County Child Development Center bring their created decorations for the center. The children eat a meal with the seniors once a year. The children also come in costume for Halloween and sing holiday songs in December.
Seniors in Reading, Kansas are now receiving home-delivered carry-out meals from the North Lyon County Senior Center in Allen
Hours for the NLC Senior Center are 9:30 am to 1:00 pm, Monday thru Friday. Please make meal reservations at least one day in advance. Call 528-3414.