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The Black Mountain Recreation and Parks Department recently unveiled a new logo across publications, including the department’s website. The colorful new look has been launched alongside a new name for what used to be called Lakeview Senior Center at Lake Tomahawk.

The center, at 401 Laurel Circle Drive, is now called Lakeview Center for Active Aging.

When the dam creating Lake Tomahawk and the center’s building were constructed, the Civil Works Administration was the first to occupy it, in the 1930s. The Senior Center organization moved lakeside in the early 1980s after renovations such adding the pool deck, done in 1975, were undertaken.

Now in 2016, an ever-expanding calendar of activities and events has grown in popularity, so much so that some of the offerings are adding second groups. There is a new book club, and opportunities are emerging for additional game groups, especially for newcomers.

As programs evolve to suit the growing interest, departmental assistant Cyndy Kirkland, who drafts the calendars each month, has seen a continual swell of activity at the center. “We strive to bring in a wide variety of activities so that there’s something for everyone,” Kirkland said.

Stakeholders, long ago, drafted the vision for the center’s mission. That statement reads in part: “(The Lakeview Center for Active Aging) is committed to quality creative programming in recreation, health, wellness, and education. Through outreach …(and) …recognizing that independence, dignity, and self-respect are nurtured through recreation, the center supports active living for older adults.”

In fact, Lakeview has earned the designation, “Center of Excellence” with the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services. Williams and Kirkland have been able to demonstrate Lakeview’s effectiveness by documenting, its advocacy, information and referral services, in addition to all the activity. Anyone can call and be directed to the right channels for assistance and or services that adults might need, from housing and care options to jobs and benefits counseling.

This is a key component of not only elevating the center to its award-winning status, but to its fulfilling its mission to reach out.

The center is also placing an emphasis on wellness initiatives involving the whole community, as exemplified by the center’s recent Wear Red Day, Valentine 5K and Kids Fun Run. The running event, which was open to all ages, saw a big turnout despite an unexpected dip in the morning’s temperatures. More than 160 adults turned out for the 5K, and 25 kids enjoyed the Fun Run in February.

Center patrons are getting involved with the school system’s Smart Girls, and many other groups frequently use the center for their club meetings and events.

“It’s really a place where neighbors from all over town can sit down together or participate in events,” Larry Clevenger said at a recent advocacy luncheon where Black Mountain residents could express their appreciation to state policy makers. The event was held in conjunction with a potluck gathering, something that happens at the center several times a year.

The Lakeview Center, in partnership with the Buncombe County Council on Aging, offers a hot lunch Monday through Friday.

“Each day of the week we offer a hot meal for $1.50 to persons 60 years and older that is delivered from Asheville’s Moose Cafe, according to the nutrition site coordinator, Trevia Rhodes. “Mountain Mobility provides free transportation for residents of Black Mountain or parts of the surrounding area so that you can enjoy a meal with us.” Anyone interested in the Lakeview meal should call 669-2035 to make a reservation, arrange transportation or inquire about the menu.

To avoid membership fees, some activities carry nominal fees. That way patrons can depend on expert health and fitness leaders for activities such as Tai Chi, line dancing, square dancing and hiking. (Many groups like book clubs, some of the new games and Jim Poling’s wildflower and birding walks continue to take place without any contribution.)

Volunteers are sought for special events and facilitating groups. Free movies are shown monthly, and there are free “Expanding Your Knowledge” presentations on topics like “Caring for the Caregivers” and “Disaster Preparedness.” Excursions are considerably more affordable than comparable costs for day or overnight trips.

The building itself has a small lending library, a piano, two kitchens and a comfortable and attractive meeting space. Additional revenue is brought in through rentals for large parties, wedding receptions, family reunions, anniversaries and birthdays.

As the weather warms up, so does the seasonal aspect of center activities. Once the pool opens up to the public, each day will begin with adult swimming hours. In June, the annual Thursday night Park Rhythms concert series will kick off and a multitude of outdoor events will the gorunds for center patrons.

This spring, the Department of Recreation and Parks has a new minibus available for Lakeview’s day trips and other transportation needs. There is a new garden being planted and maintained by volunteers.

Spring heralds burgeoning new growth for a longstanding Black Mountain resource, our very own fountain of youth, the newly named Lakeview Center for Active Aging. Center staff are here to assist older adults in the Swannanoa Valley.

If you have an age-related issue or questions about services and programs, call 669-8610 or e-mail brittany.williams@townofblackmountain.org. Be sure to check out the interactive new logo at blackmountainrec.com.

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