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Election Occupies Senior Center

By Courtney A. Coursey, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

This afternoon's bingo game was cancelled at the Mass. Ave. Cambridge Senior Center thanks to the ballot counting taking place there today.

Facility Manager Donald Down, a.k.a. "Duck," said that some seniors who frequent the center viewed Election Day and the day-after siege of their building as "disruptive."

"The Election Commission bought some outside catering from S&S to appease them," Down said.

Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the Senior Center is abuzz with activities ranging from a discussion about "Caring for Your Aging Feet" to "Senior Revue: Still Moving," described in Senior Center literature as a "theatrical revue about senior citizens and the health-care system, created and performed by nine seniors from the Cambridge-Somerville area."

The center, which opened Oct. 31, 1995, was designed to provide "one-stop shopping for all seniors," Down said.

The current center is the result of a $4.3 million renovation project and employs approximately 20 full- and part-time workers, Down said.

It is home to the City of Cambridge's Council on Aging, a food pantry, and Windsor House, which provides daytime care for the elderly.

The center also serves breakfast and lunch to seniors with prices reminiscient of yesteryear.

Breakfast costs only 70 cents and "a full lunch" costs a mere $1.50.

Usually, 30 to 35 seniors partake of the breakfast meal while 75 are around for lunch.

The center also has a drop-in lounge that is open 365 days a year, a kitchen, an arts and crafts classroom, and a kiln complete with a potter's wheel.

Anyone older than 60 is eligible for the meals, Down said.

This is the first year that ballots were counted and the results announced at the center.

Previously, these jobs were performed at the Longfellow School, Down said.

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