Featuring Our Own:
Long Prairie Senior Center
By Taylor Lunemann,
LP Leader Staff Writer
Launette Tisdale & Jodi Dixon- Senior Center managers
Take a look at the monthly calendar for events at the Long Prairie Senior Center, and there aren’t many blank spaces on the page.
Membership is on the rise at the senior center located on the corner of Highway-27 and 3rd St. N in Long Prairie. Much of that is thanks to the duo of Jodi Dixon and Launette Tisdale, who took over at the center last March. Membership has climbed up to about 85 members, which is about 20 more than when they started.
The pair had different reasons and paths when deciding to work there.
“I just graduated college and I was working at a nursing home,” said Dixon, who graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in geriatrics and psychology. “My goal was to be a senior advocate so this is right up my alley.”
“It sounded like something fun and I liked the hours. I didn’t want to go back to working full-time,” Tisdale added. “I’ve always worked in a school setting and I get that with the various activities and crafts.”
The senior center has played host to various weekly and monthly events in the past. Dixon and Tisdale have continued with several events like hosting the AARP smart driver class as well as Lakewood Health System’s foot clinic. They have also added many new ones, with popular ones continuing on a regular basis, and new ones being tried out.
There are groups who come into the senior center to play cards, bingo, and play Wii bowling in the back room. They have also hosted painting parties, a garage sale, and are hosting a “Sweethearts” dinner on Feb. 15. RSVP for $10, and Tisdale snuck in a great sales pitch by noting that Dixon owned a restaurant and catering business for five years.
The senior center will be participating in the national “Random Acts of Kindness” week, which is Feb. 11-17. Members will be writing something nice and handing them out around town to help spread awareness.
Bingo is one of their bigger regular events, with them averaging around 15 people. Those numbers have climbed since they implemented prizes to the game.
They have also had different speakers come in to talk, including people from Todd County emergency management, an orthopedic doctor, and Long Prairie Police Chief Kevin Langer.
While the long list of new activities is great for members, both Dixon and Tisdale noted that the main draw is that it’s simply just a great place to socialize.
“They can come in and chat, or sit and crochet, or play a card game,” Tisdale said. “We always have the coffee on, and it’s a good way to get out of the house for a couple of hours.”
Membership for the senior center, which is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is just $5 per year for people 50-plus years of age. Membership gives people several benefits. Members save money on events like the painting party that was put on, and they can rent the facility at a discount. Members can rent the facility for $25.00 fee which is refundable, while non-members must pay $25, and $10 per hour to either Dixon or Tisdale for the duration of the event.
There has been much work done with events at the senior center since Dixon and Tisdale took over, and the two aren’t done looking to make improvements. They have a request out to get an AED device donated because the senior center doesn’t have one. They also hope to raise money to help renovate the kitchen area of the building, and also hope to get a canopy and picnic table set up for members in the summer.
They noted that their members are always great about donating any supplies the senior center may need, such as coffee, toilet paper, door prizes, but would welcome any donations people may have. Long Prairie Packing donated the senior center’s big screen television, Wii system, and DVD player, while also paying for the monthly phone, internet, and cable bill, which they said is much appreciated.
Prospective members are invited to stop in and talk to Dixon and Tisdale and get more information about becoming a member. Events for the senior center can be found on their monthly calendar, which is posted on their Facebook page as well as the Long Prairie Chamber of Commerce website. Updates are also posted in the Leader, on the radio, on fliers around town, and in a mailer sent out to members.
With a packed calendar of events, the senior center is a potential hot spot for members, and Dixon and Tisdale appear to have formed a great team.
“I keep mentioning to our board members that I don’t know how they figured out our match,” joked Dixon. “It’s been perfect. We even do things outside of work together.”
Walking Trails in Long Prairie
History of Long Prairie
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Please write a short blurb about your special recipe and why you like it.
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OPEN SKATE in Long Prairie at the EXPO arena
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Sundays from 5-7 pm
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Celebrate I Love to Read month by playing Reading Bingo! Pick up a Bingo sheet at the library and get reading! And, you’ll get a prize for every completed Bingo sheet you return!
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Saturday, March 17th
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MOVIE NIGHTS @ the First Baptist Church in Long Prairie
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