The Sierra Senior Center recently welcomed Connie Graham as their new site coordinator for the senior nutrition program and Graham says she's thrilled to be at the senior center.
"They have been so welcoming," she said. "I felt welcome the first day I came here. They always have words of encouragement and I've always loved seniors."
Graham's cattle ranching family moved up to the Mountain Area in 1965, but after graduating from Sierra High School Graham moved away. Her parents, Bill and Connie Hillerman, are still residents of Coarsegold. Graham moved to Bass Lake from Apple Valley three years ago, and since then has become involved in the community.
Graham recently transitioned to Oakhurst from the Coarsegold Community Center where she was also in charge of the nutrition program. She is filling the shoes of Joanne Foster who retired from the senior center after more than nine years. The job is not new to Graham.
Graham says she loves her new job because of the people and her coworkers and says she plans to stay there as long as they'll keep her.
"She's doing a great job," said Betty Persson who works with senior employment resources and the lunch program at the senior center. "She's very helpful to everyone. So far we haven't found a single senior who doesn't like her. She's very personable and is willing to do anything asked of her that is her duty. She is a real asset to this place."
Graham says it's mainly regulars who utilize the senior nutrition program, but she hopes to encourage more seniors to take advantage of the program. All it takes to attend is a call to the senior center 24 hours in advance to let Graham know how many meals to plan for. Meals are planned by a nutritionist and are served at 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
"People love the food and I've never got a bad remark about it," Graham said. "It's real beneficial for them. It's a wonderful program and many come in early to socialize."
The senior center has a variety of regular activities including Take Off Pounds Sensible (TOPS), bingo, bridge, pinochle, exercise classes, woodworking, a library, once a month comfort meal aside from the senior nutrition program that offers seniors lunch every day, and a respite group every Tuesday starting back up Nov. 6. Graham also facilitates in home meals for seniors and is available to help with other senior health services
"She seems to be working out quite well," said Zona Cahill, a senior at the center. "Her personality is very good for seniors and she's a hardworking gal. She's very respectful of the seniors. I think she'll fit in very well. I'm glad she's becoming part of our senior family."
For information on Sierra Senior Center programs, call (559) 683-3811.