New program coordinator
The Orcas Senior Center has hired Vicki O’Keefe as the activities and program coordinator. Her focus will be launching new initiatives like the tech grant and increasing community-requested offerings.
O’Keefe brings a vast amount of programming experience and her passions align with the center’s mission to age well on Orcas. She has 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and a master’s degree in education and is certified by the University of Washington Fiber Art program. She was the coordinator of the Community Service Outreach programs at several private schools in the Seattle area. She started as an English teacher in Seattle independent private schools teaching English and continued her career as a technology teacher instructing students in the wonders of desktop publishing, sewing, photography and filmmaking. She tutors reluctant readers and dyslexic children. O’Keefe’s goal is to bring her experience, caring and insights to the Orcas Island community.
“Reading, sewing, and service bring me great pleasure,” she said. “There is a great power when vibrant and grateful people join together to do good things.”
Islanders are encouraged to stop by the center to introduce yourself. O’Keefe will be working part-time, Monday through Thursdays and is the host of the Tuesday Coffee Shop (soon include Thursdays).
Senior preparedness series
September is National Preparedness Month, and as one of its new initiative programs, Orcas Senior Center is rolling out its “Senior Preparedness Series.”
This effort is designed to raise awareness about ways seniors can prepare for emergencies as well as special considerations for vulnerable islanders. OSC members and the public are invited to participate in monthly activities that prepare them to survive emergencies, access PERS (Personal Emergency Response Systems), assist others and shelter in place if necessary.
The initiative kicks off on Sept. 12, with a San Juan County Department of Emergency Management seminar. The event will begin at 1 p.m. in the Lundeen Room. Speakers will address ways that elders can prepare for and respond to emergency and disaster situations. Other events planned for September at the Orcas Senior Center include a Life Line Screening on Sept. 17 (check out www.orcasseniors.org for details and screening rates), and a session providing assistance with “Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” forms tentatively set for Sept. 26.