West Haven, Allingtown senior centers celebrate ‘golden’ anniversaries
City officials and elected state representatives joined elderly services advocates and local seniors Wednesday, Sept. 26, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Allingtown and West Haven senior centers in a luncheon in the Cielo Banquet Hall Ballroom.
Mayor Nancy Rossi presented a proclamation commemorating the centers’ golden anniversary to Elderly Services Director Sharon Mancini, the city said in a news release.
They were joined by more than 200 seniors, board officers, staff and volunteers gathered in the banquet hall — also known as the West Haven Italian-American Club — on Chase Lane.
“Since 1968, our senior centers have empowered older residents by providing them with quality services to stay active and healthy, to continue learning, and to stay connected with friends and community members,” Rossi said in the release, quoting from the proclamation.
Mancini, who has managed the centers for a quarter century, said they merged in June 2015 to form the Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center on the second floor of the Robert A. Johnson Noble Community Center, 201 Noble St.
“We now have one unified senior center, building on the past to create new beginnings,” Mancini said in the release.
Mancini received a General Assembly citation from state Reps. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, Charles Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Michael DiMassa, D-West Haven, on behalf of the city’s General Assembly delegation.
Mancini also received a City Council citation from Chairman Ronald M. Quagliani, D-at large, and Councilwoman Robbin Watt Hamilton, D-5, on behalf of the council.
Members of both senior centers observed the milestone by dancing to the music of Vinnie Carr, who received his own citation from Rossi for “providing musical entertainment for more than 40 years” for the centers.
Rossi, reading the citation, said, “On behalf of the countless seniors whose lives you have touched, we truly thank you for all the memories,” according to the release.
The four-hour, afternoon event included congratulatory remarks from city Commissioner of Human Resources Beth Sabo, who oversees the Department of Elderly Services. Sabo has been a city employee since 1977.
The West Haven Senior Center traces its beginning in 1968 to the First Congregational Church of West Haven on the West Haven Green.
A year later, space was made available in the basement of City Hall, 355 Main St. — then newly built — where the center operated until November 2003. It moved to the Johnson Community Center on Dec. 1, 2003.
The Allingtown Senior Center began in Allingtown fire headquarters, 20 Admiral St., before moving in 1977 to the Allingtown Community Center, 1 Forest Road, which at the time had just been renovated.
It remained there until June 2015.