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The Gathering Place to host program on military funerals

November 6, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The Gathering Place at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 550 North Broad St. will be presenting a special Veteran's Day program on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. The program will cover traditions associated with the military funeral process.

"Carmen Heasley was the one who saw the Ellsworth VFW present this program elsewhere and was so impressed, she pursued the possibility of having them do the same for our November event," said Pastor Becky Zielke.

In addition to the special program, The Gathering Place will also have a nurse who will provide free blood pressure screenings and lunch that will be provided by the Woodlands.

The Gathering Place has come a long way since it began in 2013. It started as a way to fill a need in Canfield for a place seniors could go and enjoy time with other seniors.

"It is going very well, and it is growing," Zielke said. "When we started the program in 2013, we started with mostly seniors from our church and only a couple from the community. Today, our events draw mostly people from the Canfield and surrounding communities, including Boardman, Youngstown, Poland, Austintown and Salem. Attendance is anywhere between 30-40 people. We are pleased to see the reach that The Gathering Place has had, since it was always our intent that it be a community organization."

The Gathering Place takes place every second Monday of the month and is totally free as a community outreach program for seniors. A normal second Monday of each month would include games, activities, socializing, and special programs like the one scheduled for Monday. The lunch is also a nice addition thanks to a special partnership.

"The Woodlands sponsors the lunches, and we've appreciated their support over these past few years," Zielke said.

Among some of the speakers The Gathering Place has scheduled in the past are representatives from the Canfield Police Department, the Cardinal Joint Fire District, Goodness Grows, Mahoning County Green Team, the Melnick Medical Museum and Buckeye Hospice to name a few. Programs were given by CPA's, lawyers, dietitians and physical therapists.

"We've had musical programs at our December programs to get into the Christmas spirit," added Zielke "We try to do programs in November that have something to do with veterans. And as the people gather each month, there is a nurse from Buckeye Hospice available to do blood pressure checks. We are grateful for their partnership in providing that service to our attendees."

So far this year, the programs included presentations from the Mahoning County Board of Health, Angels For Animals, the Steel Museum, Ohio Living and from the Mahoning County Sheriffs' Senior Services Unit.

Zielke said the church is always looking for new programs that may be of interest to attending seniors. She added the eventual goal is to expand to more than one day a month and to continue one or two off-site activities through the year. This year The Gathering Place held the May event at the Canfield Public Library and the July event at Loghurst Museum.

"I just started a Facebook page this year," Zielke said. "It can be found by searching "The Gathering Place Senior Center."



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