Email received from renown Medfield basketball player Jerry Cianciolo –
An Open Letter to the Medfield Selectmen
It may be the best kept secret in Medfield. Certainly to many under the age of 65 it’s something unknown.
But more than nine-hundred older people and their families who use the facility daily, weekly, or monthly will tell you what a gem the town has in The Center at Medfield.
As one who offers a workshop for those with a touch of gray, I’m familiar with senior centers throughout the area. To their credit many are good, but only a handful are great. Ours falls into the latter category.
Walk into One Ice House Road, home to the Medfield Council on Aging, and what you feel at once is warmth. There’s not a bureaucrat in sight. Not only are you immediately at ease but intuitively you sense your needs will be addressed and your questions answered. What permeates is an atmosphere of competence and conviviality.
What I find equally striking about The Center is the bustle inside. I’ve visited senior centers in the early afternoon and found many to be strangely empty and quiet. In Medfield it’s the opposite. On any given day, The Center teems with exercise groups, enrichment classes, fashion shows, 12-piece swing bands, retirement seminars, ballroom dancing, card games, respite care activities, and a friendly gent or two eyeing the topography of a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Many deserve credit for the success of The Center, among them Susan Bernstein, Cheryl Lavallee, Bill Pardi, Kathy Powers, and the unfailingly friendly receptionists at the front desk.
But it is director Roberta Lynch who is The Center’s fulcrum, the magnet that pulls everyone and everything together. I’ve known Roberta for only a short time, but up-close I’ve observed her unerring instincts for hiring the right people, setting the perfect tone, and experimenting with different, even novel approaches. All the while she makes the complexity of her job seem deceptively easy.
Oh yes, and Roberta listens. Walk in The Center and you’ll find her door always open – whether you simply want to share a funny story or need a compassionate ear to help you navigate a crisis.
Many older people have a bias against senior centers. I did. But take a step or two into The Center at Medfield and you’ll have that notion completely dispelled.
Minds in Motion Workshop