By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and members of the city’s General Assembly delegation honored the 50th anniversary of the Allingtown and West Haven senior centers with fitting tributes during a luncheon Sept. 26 at the Cielo Banquet Ballroom.
Rossi presented a proclamation declaring the centers’ golden anniversary to Elderly Services Director Sharon R. Mancini in the company of more than 200 members, board officers, staff and volunteers gathered in the Chase Lane banquet hall.
Reading the proclamation, Rossi said, “Since 1968, our senior centers have empowered older residents by providing them with quality services to stay active and healthy, to continue learning, and to stay connected with friends and community members.”
Mancini, who has managed the centers for a quarter century, said they merged in June 2015 to form the Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center on the second floor of the Robert A. Johnson Noble Community Center, 201 Noble St.
“We now have one unified senior center, building on the past to create new beginnings,” Mancini said.
Mancini received a General Assembly citation marking the occasion from state Reps. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven, on behalf of the delegation. She also received a City Council citation from Chairman Ronald M. Quagliani, D-at large, and Councilwoman Robbin Watt Hamilton, D-5, on behalf of the council.
Members of both senior centers observed the milestone by dancing to the music of Vinnie Carr, who received a citation from Rossi for “providing musical entertainment for more than 40 years” for the centers.
Rossi, reading the citation, said, “On behalf of the countless seniors whose lives you have touched, we truly thank you for all the memories.”
The four-hour, afternoon event included congratulatory remarks from city Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, who oversees the Department of Elderly Services. Sabo has been a city employee since 1977.
The West Haven Senior Center traces its beginning in 1968 to the First Congregational Church of West Haven on the downtown Green. A year later, space was made available in the basement of the then-newly built City Hall, 355 Main St., where the center operated until November 2003. It moved to the Johnson Community Center on Dec. 1, 2003.
The Allingtown Senior Center began in Allingtown fire headquarters, 20 Admiral St., before moving in 1977 to the then-newly renovated Allingtown Community Center, 1 Forest Road, where it remained until June 2015.