City events picking up steam through Oct. and Nov.


By Gary Luster

As we move more deeply into the fall season, the city of Gardena will be playing host to several local events during the October and November months with several of the events geared toward, or specifically benefiting the city’s senior citizen community.

Beginning on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m., the Gardena Valley Affiliated Committee on Aging will meet at the Nakaoka Community Center to discuss ways to inform and educate seniors on legislative, economic, and social issues. They will also discuss how to provide access to events, activities, and programs in ways that meet the needs of the city’s older adult population.

Christina Theobald, an administrative analyst with the city of Gardena’s Recreation and Human Services Department, said she is working with the Affiliated Committee on Aging to secure guest speakers during the regular senior lunch programs.

“On 9/19, we hosted a speaker from New Star Family Justice Center who spoke about senior scams and fraud prevention tactics,” Theobald said. “The Committee is brainstorming topics and will coordinate guest speakers with the Senior Bureau.”

On Saturday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Gardena will host its annual Harvest Festival at the City Hall Complex. The festivities will include a pumpkin patch, various food and retail vendors, a pumpkin bake-off, a heritage art walk plus numerous kids activities. In addition, early risers are encouraged to stop by the K-9 22nd annual Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. before making their way to festival.

Something that is specifically for Gardena’s elderly is the Paint Workshop for Seniors on Oct. 14 at the Nakaoka Center where seniors can express themselves creatively., a painting blog, said that painting classes enable seniors to make new friends and use their social skills in a very relaxed, no pressure atmosphere. The blog asserts that painting forces people to use both sides of their brain simultaneously which aids in creativity and increases cognitive brain function.

The Southern California Inka Lions Club will host the Gather Around the Table event which is set for Saturday, Oct. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Nakaoka Center. Attendees will gather with one another for a night of food, fun, and conversation that will help kick off the city’s annual Helping Hands Toy Drive. Admission is free.

For November, the city will kick things off with the Mobile Screening Unit, also sponsored by the Southern California Inka Lions Club. The unit will be available Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Nakaoka Center parking lot and will be open to all Gardena residents and will have a medical team on site to assist with free vision and diabetes screening.

Also on Friday, Nov. 4 will be the 39th Annual Senior Citizen Health and Wellness Fair from 9 a.m. to noon at the Nakaoka Center Auditorium and City Hall Complex Lawn. The fair will fea- ture free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters as well as regular flu shots, health screenings, vari- ous health and wellness vendors, and a raffle.

Friday, Nov. 18 will see the city of Gardena present Casino Night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Nakaoka Center Auditorium where attendees will enjoy a night of games and prizes. Those interested are encouraged to arrive early for the Double Your Chances” Happy Hour from 5 to 6 p.m. with a $25 buy-in. Some of the featured games will be blackjack, roulette, craps, and Texas Hold Em. All profits from the games will go toward the benefit of the Gardena Seniors Program.

Finally on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rowley Park will be the “Wobble Before You Gobble” line dancing event where attendees are invited to bring family and friends for a day of dancing or a guided tour around the park. Those who bring five canned good items or an unwrapped toy will be en-tered into a raffle for a chance to win a prize basket worth more than $900., a blog of the Silver Maples of Chelsea retirement neighborhood, said the benefits of engagement in social activities for seniors includes better cognitive function, an improved immune system, increased longevity, and restful sleep.

In addition to all of the previously mentioned special events for the next couple of months, the Gardena Senior Bureau will continue to serve the city’s elderly population. Theobald said hot lunches for seniors are still being served at the Nakaoka Center Monday through Friday.

The bureau also has a satellite location in Lawndale that serves hot lunches to seniors Monday through Friday. Theobald also said that Rowley Park is back to serving hot lunches Mondays and Wednesdays. Bingo returns to the Nakaoka Center Tuesdays after lunch. However, despite the abundant options for lunch, help is still needed.

“We still need volunteers for the Home-Delivered Program,” Theobald said. “As soon as we get enough to support the program, we can transition to every day hot meal delivery. We are currently still delivering 7 frozen meals each Wednesday. We need people willing to drive a route and people to ride with the drivers to actually deliver the food.”

For information on the Gardena Valley Affiliated Committee on Aging, the Harvest Festival, the paint workshop or any other events mentioned above, call 310-217-9552.

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