WADSWORTH: An array of cupcakes of various flavors and icings and all with sprinkles greeted those who came to bid farewell to 138 High Street as the home of the Wadsworth Center for Older Adults Thursday.
In January the Center will leave that building after nearly 40 years and will move to a new, modern one at 625 Broad Street. The new Center will be part of a 70,000 square-foot community center, which will also house a fitness center, a place for the returning and picking up of materials from the library, a branch of Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital and a home for Wadsworth Community Television.
The new Center will be named Soprema Senior Center and Cafe because the company contributed $160,000 to the capital campaign for it.
Stanley Wolczyk, 94, joked he began coming to the Center when "Abe Lincoln was here." Wolczyk noted, "personally, I love this old place. It has character and all the people who come here are characters. "I am 94 and I don't anyone to steal any of those years from me."
Virginia Halfhill, 91, said she had been coming to the Center since she moved to Wadsworth and liked to come "to play bingo." She added, "I don't want to see it torn down."
According to its history, the Center began with 42 senior citizens in the 1970's searching for a meeting place. Wadsworth officials offered them a place to meet at a location which was formally known as the Civic Center. Thus began a group, which now has a membership of nearly 4,000.
In 1975 the Medina County Commissioners began a bus service program, which allowed many who did not drive to come to the Center to participate and in 1979 a nutrition site was opened in the lower level of the three-story building.
John Morris and John Clifton, both of whom volunteer at the Center to help in the filing of tax returns for senior citizens during the tax season, said they will not miss the days when they had to work in the cold on the third floor because of the inefficiency of the heating system.
Jim Riley, a member of the Center's board, noted 'it's about time" for a new building to be built. He said the new one will be all on one floor and the "cafe will be fantastic." Riley mentioned he had been coming to this place since the 1950's when he participated in the Teenage Canteen held there after the football games.
Nancy Likens, Center director, stated "thanks for the memories and I am looking forward to creating new ones." She said, "I enjoyed being here and I am looking forward to new opportunities."