Blanche McCarthy Senior Center celebrates 45th anniversary
WINSTED — The Blanche McCarthy Senior Center celebrated its 45th anniversary at the Cornucopia Banquet Hall in Torrington on Friday, Sept. 16.The center dates back to Sept. 27, 1966, when eight people met with the Rev. Harry Enid at the Methodist Church to talk about forming a seniors group.One month later, 28 people came to the church for the next meeting. The Senior Citizens’ Group, as they became known, met monthly for a business meeting and to socialize.Eight years later in January 1974, the Connecticut Department of Aging awarded the town a grant to operate a senior center.The senior center opened at St. Andrews Lodge, and Blanche McCarthy was hired as its first director.The center remained at St. Andrews until 1983, when McCarthy secured funds to buy the Garibaldi Hall on Holabird Avenue. The building was named after McCarthy, and she remained the senior center’s director until 1998.The center’s current director, Ellen Schroeder, has been with the center since McCarthy retired.“In 45 years we have grown to over 2,000 members,” Schroeder said. “In 45 years, our mission has remained the same: to be an educational, recreational and cultural center for residents throughout the area age 55 and older.”The seniors celebrated the anniversary of their center with a banquet and live music.