WORTHINGTON — With all of the research, planning and uncertainty that preceded the completion of the Center for Active Living (CAL) in Worthington, it’s easy to understand why the first anniversary of the building’s opening is worth celebrating.
“To go through that whole process and finally have it, and have it be successful … I just hope that it will continue to grow bigger and bigger,” said CAL Director Kris Hohensee. “It took so many years to come and now we finally have it — let’s celebrate!”
That celebration is planned for Thursday afternoon in an open house at the senior dining site and activity center, located at 211 11th St. A program with comments by Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh will kick off the open house at 1 p.m., followed by a recognition of retiring advisory committee members Sharon Johansen, Bobbie Korthals, Chuck Moore, Mike Woll and Bob Petrich.
“All of them have served on the advisory committee for various lengths of time,” Hohensee said. “Bobbie, Chuck, Bob and Mike were all instrumental in getting this place together.”
Amanda Walljasper-Tate, owner of Schafer’s Health, will present a program at 2 p.m. on “Health Naturally” as part of the CAL’s Sanford Wellness Partners program.
Meanwhile, a double elimination pool tournament will get under way at 2:30 p.m. in the lower level of the center. Hohensee is hoping for at least eight 2-person teams for the standard 8-ball tournament. There will be a pay-out for the top three places if enough teams sign up, she added.
Pre-registration for the pool tournament is required by 4 p.m. Wednesday, and if someone needs a pool partner, Hohensee will work to pair them up. To register, call her at 376-6457.
The open house will wrap up with entertainment at 3 p.m. in the center’s gymnasium.
“I want hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people (to come),” Hohensee said of Thursday’s open house.
Currently there are nearly 200 individuals, ages 55 and older, who are members of the CAL — an increase from when the senior center operated in the Ace Hardware building. Still, Hohensee said there is the potential for a much larger membership base.
She continues to expand programming and amenities at the CAL to bring in new memberships.
Shuffleboard was recently added in the CAL’s lower level, while whisperball is played on the racquetball courts. They also offer pickleball and pool, as well as card games. A trio of laptop computers with Internet access are also available to members — as is assistance if they need some help.
“I’m still trying to find things and still looking for lots of feedback of what people want,” Hohensee said.
Since taking on the role of director last July, Hohensee has offered a couple of computer classes for members and has now started an Ethnic Supper Club.
The once-a-month program includes a presentation on culture and beliefs, along with a meal of traditional food. The first event in March focused on Ireland.
“In May, we have the Karen coming in,” Hohensee said.
Also new is the Citizens Academy, a program presented each week by local law enforcement, and some outdoor exercise programs.
“We have a downtown walking club, where we’ll start from the center and walk downtown,” Hohensee explained. “One day we’re going to walk and end at the Dayton House for coffee. Another time we will work with the historical society and read off different historical items through the various buildings downtown.”
A bicycle club is also in the works — “no big racing tour or anything, just kind of cruising around,” she added.
Many of the activities at the CAL are included in a one-year membership, although there are special events like an upcoming jewelry-making class where a fee will be charged. Members, however, can take part for a reduced fee.
“With the membership, you get a break on programming fees,” Hohensee said. People ages 55 and older who are members of the local YMCA also pay a reduced fee for a CAL membership.
The senior dining program at the CAL is offered Monday through Friday, and Hohensee said she would like to see more people participate in the meal program. Home-delivered meals continue to be popular.
During Thursday’s open house, people will be invited to register for door prizes, including a free membership. Refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.