After retiring from a career with the Halstead Hospital, Dorothy Hall was seeking a way to stay active and continue interacting with people.
That desire led Hall to get involved at the Sedgwick Senior Center, where she had heard there was a lot going on — as the current Bentley resident was living just outside of Sedgwick at the time.
While Hall started out doing a number of crafts with the ladies at the senior center, she was quick to step up to the plate when the standard coffee and pastries service evolved into a full-on breakfast meal served on a weekly basis — with Hall being one of the first to volunteer her services in making one of those meals on an almost monthly basis, which she has now done for 25 years.
"There were several gals involved, maybe four or five who got involved, and we all had our own menus," Hall said.
Hall's menu included biscuits, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, coffee and a traditional pastry (i.e. coffee cake), while others' offerings ranged from casseroles to French toast and more.
Every fifth week, Hall would make up her meal (with assistance from some of the other senior center patrons — and assisting others herself)) and serve upwards of 40 local seniors from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Tuesday — though now she admitted she is ready to hand off the reins to someone younger.
Being involved is still something Hall is looking forward to, though, just as she was in first entering retirement — and she noted there is plenty more for her to help with at the Sedgwick Senior Center.
"I worked at the hospital for 25 years in Halstead and I just liked to be around people, so I thought that'd be something for me to do to take some of my time and be involved at the community center," Hall said. "Our center in Sedgwick is very active. We have a lot going on there."
On top of helping with the weekly breakfast, Hall is also a part of a quilting group at the senior center that meets Wednesdays starting at 9 a.m. She was part of that even before helping with breakfast, with the group drawing some members from Halstead and taking on a number of projects to help raise funds.
"We have people who bring in their tops, backing, polyester we use in the center, and we quilt it for them and they pay us," Hall said. "That goes to the senior center; and we need (that) to keep our center going."
Additional fundraising efforts at the center include a baked potato bar on St. Patrick's day, while the organization also helps with the annual fall festival and more.
For Hall, most of her other efforts (aside from helping with breakfast and quilting) center on the organization's peppernut sales in the fall — another fundraiser. A number of members are broken into two groups — one to mix and one to bake — making 100 pounds last year. While it is an intensive process, Hall noted it is worthwhile.
"That's another good-selling item," Hall said. "That's makes us some good money."
Given all that goes on at the senior center, Hall said it is an organization that "gets things done" and she is happy to be a part of that, though more than that she simply enjoys getting to come together in fellowship — no matter what activity she is taking part in at the moment.