Center open every week to the public Monday through Friday
■ By Dennis Fletcher / Contributed
Almost every day, Connie Young and Virginia Maria meet at the San Jacinto Community Center to work on their next puzzle challenge spread out on the puzzle table in the big lunch room for seniors open Monday through Friday. They met at the center over two years ago and have been puzzle buddies ever since.
Connie worked and raised six children in the Hemet area before she retired and came to the San Jacinto Community Center in 2016. She has been attending ever since and estimates that she and Virginia have completed over 20 puzzles together.
Virginia retired from Phillips Gaskets on Mello in Hemet in 2009. She came to the center shortly after and soon started working on puzzles. Connie and Virginia met over the puzzle table in the corner of the lunch room that easily serves a hundred hungry seniors (don’t worry, there’s still room if you want to come).
The current puzzle, that anyone can work on, is a photomosaics puzzle by Robert Silvers who is a well-known puzzle artist. Each piece in a photomosaics puzzle is a photograph of a scene in itself. The overall effect of this puzzle, when assembled, is that of a monarch butterfly.
Besides puzzles, seniors at the center can be found playing dominos, solitaire, kings corner, and Mexican lottery (like bingo). There is a whole drawer of games waiting for seniors who show up at the community center on Pico in San Jacinto.
Nick and Ellen Burkey provide live music during the lunch hour every Monday. Their music and songs feature a lot of familiar favorites of the past. Many of the seniors at the center enjoy listening to the nostalgic tunes.
The best deal at the center is a hot meal served Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m. for seniors aged 60 and older for a suggested donation of three dollars.
San Jacinto Community Center is located on 625 S. Pico Avenue. Their number is 951-654-7212. Operation hours: Mon – Fri, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. for meals and services to the community. To volunteer, please call Kathy Knox at 951-686-1096.