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Central Coast Senior Center hosts its first Custom Walker Show 

When you hear about a cruise event, what first comes to mind might naturally be shiny vintage cars with flame decals, whitewall tires, and loud mufflers. The Central Coast Senior Center is making noise with its version of such an event with the first ever Custom Walker Show and Cruise slated for April 28 from noon to 3 p.m.

Loni Kuentzel, office manager, said the center has hosted open houses before, but organizers were really looking for a new hook to get people interested in seeing what it has to offer.

click to enlarge GETTING CRAFTY (from left to right) Central Coast Senior Center board member Sandy Stuart and charter member Pearl Cole display their customized walkers. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LONI KUENTZEL
  • Photo Courtesy Of Loni Kuentzel
  • GETTING CRAFTY (from left to right) Central Coast Senior Center board member Sandy Stuart and charter member Pearl Cole display their customized walkers.

"There are car shows all over the place, and because this is a senior center, I said 'Let's do a custom walker show,' and well, that idea hit," Kuentzel said.

The entrance fee for the show will be $5, which not only admits attendees to the cruise but it includes a bake sale, tour of the facility, and demonstrations of some of its weekly activities.

The fee also allows attendees to borrow a custom walker if they wish to participate in the cruise.

"Now I call it a cruise, but they're going to walk with the walker that each person decorates, not very far, but far enough right in front of the Senior Center so people can see the walkers and are able to judge which one is best," Kuentzel said.

The seniors who are members of the center and are participating in the cruise have been working on creative ways to decorate their walker. While most are not revealing their design ideas until the big day, Kuentzel said she does know there will be all kinds of designs—including Asian, Saint Patrick's Day, and Christmas themes.

Kuentzel will also participate in the cruise, dressing up her walker with a Disney theme as she said she's a bit of a Disney enthusiast.

"That's when I need my walker the most is when I'm at Disneyland because I still go," she said. "It's going to be called Pace Walker, like in the Indianapolis 500."

Attendees will find Kuentzel front and center of the cruise making sure everyone is on track and keeps the pace. Spectators can also judge the custom walkers with a dollar donation for each submission.

The motivation behind the event is really to get people, specifically seniors, interested in the Central Coast Senior Center. The facility is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers about 13 activities and lunch for its members throughout the week.

"We need seniors to know that we're here and we have activities for them. They don't have to stay at home and twiddle their thumbs, be stuck in a chair watching television, or whatever," she said.

Kuentzel said she and the other members of the center believe it's important for seniors to keep themselves active and social.

"You can deteriorate really fast if you're just sitting around, you know," she said.

The membership costs $20 per person and $25 per couple. Some of the activities include line-dancing classes and bingo, and it provides services like a free 15-minute attorney consultation.

While the center is tucked away in Oceano, Kuentzel calls it the hidden gem of the community. To learn more about a membership or what the Central Coast Senior Center has to offer, drop by its facility at 1580 Railroad St. in Oceano or give the center a call at (805) 481-7886.

Fast fact

Joseph Carotenuti, county library historian, will be sharing a presentation on the evolution of the San Luis Obispo County Library system at the SLO Friends of the Library annual meeting and luncheon May 2 at 11 a.m. at the Madonna Inn ballroom. The public is welcome to attend. The event celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries. Carotenuti's presentation will include historic photos and little-known stories that he's shared in his book, A Brief History of the San Luis Obispo County Library. The event costs $25, which includes lunch with a choice of entrees and the Madonna Inn's famous cake. Attendees must pre-register by April 25. For more information, visit Δ

Staff Writer Karen Garcia wrote this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send tidbits to [email protected].

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