Battle Ground Senior Center moves luncheons to different location

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The nonprofit group Battle Ground Senior Citizens (BGSC) has secured a new location to host their monthly luncheons.

The group will meet at the Battle Ground Community Center instead of the Battle Ground Senior Center. Their first luncheon at the community center was held on May 9.

BGSC Vice President Sharon Wodtke said the move came out of necessity.

“We just simply ran out of space,” Wodtke said. “The limit at (the senior center) was 100 bodies, and we were taking up three or four streets around it with all the cars being parked once a month. We couldn’t keep parking in front of people’s driveways and mailboxes. It made sense to just move to the community center.”

She said the luncheons will now occupy the Lewis River room at the community center, which has a larger capacity. The nonprofit keeps senior citizens engaged through a mailing list of over 175 people. An average of around 100 seniors attend the luncheons, which has increased by between 20 to 30 people from last year.

“Since we are a nonprofit and don’t have a steady stream of funds, we are trying to figure out ways to cater food and doing social things like selling raffle tickets and such, but we’re just always looking for ideas to support what we’re doing,” Wodtke said.

BGSC usually sets up around 10 tables at the luncheon, but their most recent one featured 14 full tables of attendees. Taco Bell provided food that day and Kolton and Thomas Opdahl from Opdahl Chiropractic were the guest speakers at the event. They discussed back pain and how to address it.

“People are starting to come out now because they’re feeling more comfortable,” Wodtke said. “We went from 70 people this year to over 100 because we announced we were moving to the community center, and people felt more comfortable coming out for lunch because they weren’t shoulder-to-shoulder with people anymore. But the seniors are still being careful even though they’re not mandated to wear masks or anything like that.”

Wodtke said the seniors have “been craving the social aspect” they missed throughout much of the pandemic. She added the group no longer includes potlucks at the event. They instead get their food catered because it’s safer that way.

“We want to do whatever we can to protect our seniors and let them have an outlet where they feel comfortable coming for a meal,” Wodtke said.

The organization will also hold an event titled “June B-Que” at the community center on June 13 at the Lewis River room and on the patio outside. Further details on who will sponsor and cater the event will be announced at a later time. 

The BGSC will also hold a luncheon in memory of Jill Kurtz in July. Wodtke said Kurtz was a “beloved figure” in the community. She was a lawyer for the Jackson Jackson & Kurtz Inc law firm before she died in 2018.

“She was involved in everything to do with the Battle Ground community,” Wodtke said.

A date and a time for the memorial will be announced closer to the event.

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