The City of La Porte Park and Recreation Department recently received a grant from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte to fund operations at the Activity Center for Older Adults (ACOA).
The facility, located in downtown La Porte, provides services and programs for the city’s senior population.
“La Porte Activity Center is much more than a social space or a place to play cards,” said Maria Fruth, President and CEO of the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. “It connects older adults to vital community services that can help them stay healthy and independent. The Center offers activities to keep seniors active, provide volunteer opportunities and health education. HFL is proud to support the operations of the Senior Center and hopes the Center continues to grow in numbers of members and programming to offer to our senior population.”
The ACOA was opened nearly 30 years ago by Swanson Center. In 2021, the City and Swanson Center agreed to end the lease on the building, the former fire station at 910 State Street. With that transition, the Park Department became involved in finding short- and long-term solutions to senior programming, including a plan to keep the ACOA viable. Full operations of the ACOA were turned over to the Park Department in April and the process of forming a strategic planning committee is underway.
“As a community and society, we have an obligation to care for and create the best possible quality of life for our senior population,” Park Superintendent Mark Schreiber said. “Over a third of our population is over the age of 55. Ultimately, we would like to see a new senior center opened to best service those residents.”
“Our department has provided quality programming for decades, with a mission to dedicate ourselves to preserve and manage our natural, cultural and recreational resources and to provide positive opportunities which meet the needs of our residents,” Schreiber said. “Our offerings and amenities must adapt to the changing demands of our community and society. We are committed to either bridging or taking the long-term ownership of the important task of providing better quality of life for our seniors.”
The grant is to extend the ACOA through December 31, 2023. Any businesses, non-profit organizations or individuals wanting to assist with providing programming for seniors can contact Recreation Director Pam Carroll at 219-326-9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.