GREEN RIVER — Golden Hour Senior Center (GRHS) is seeing a change in leadership with Ruth Lauritzen taking over as Executive Director of the center.
After six years of service at GHSC, Jackie Grubb resigned from the position to take her career in a different direction. When Lauritzen heard of the job opening, she knew it was something she’d like to be a part of. Lauritzen spent 27 years as Director of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, in which she gained experience in administration, budgeting and grant writing.
“These skills should stand me in good stead in my new job,” she said. “Part of my job at the museum, involved working closely with the Sweetwater County Historical Society which had many elderly members. I learned a lot about the preferences and perspectives of that particular demographic which makes me a good fit for a senior center.”
Lauritzen started as Executive Director at GHSC in March and she has been enjoying her time very much. She finds working with nonprofits “very rewarding” and that was a major factor for her when deciding to apply for the director job at GHSC.
“So many of them are created to do good in the world. They are generally there to support people and things. I am a pretty positive person and enjoy working with positive organizations,” Lauritzen said.
As for why she had a specific interest in the senior center, she said it is due to her own wants and needs for the center.
“Let’s just say that since I am about to turn 60 myself, I have a vested interest in making it a good place to be. I will soon be my own constituent,” she said.
First Orders of Business
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many activities and programs had to be cancelled. Additionally, many visitors to the center have stopped coming out of health concerns. Lauritzen’s first order of business is to recover patronage and restart some of those programs.
“The first thing I would like to do is to reinstate some of the activities and programs which were discontinued due to the pandemic. I am happy to report that health checks with the nurses from Sweetwater County Health will resume in May at the center,” Laurtizen said. “We are also looking into doing more evening events if the seniors are interested.”
She added that the center has had a tough time getting people back into the building for meals and activities.
“During the height of COVID-19, we instituted a pick-up meal opportunity, but now that things have calmed down, we would really like to see more people coming into the center to eat and socialize,” she said.
The center also offers several activities such as Zumba classes, pool, walking, working out on exercise equipment, bingo, poker, bridge, pinochle, painting, crafts and more. She said the center would like to see more seniors participate in these activities again.
“The more people that participate, the greater the grant funding for next year. Everybody wins,” Lauritzen said.
Lauritzen also said she also has another goal, which is to attract greater patronage from “young seniors”. These are the people who have freshly retired.
“I would like to see more of them involved in the life of the center,” she said.
Additionally, she said she would like to develop a foundation for GHSC, “which would, in time, provide another revenue stream for the organization.”
Lauritzen said that though the center is a busy place, she is excited to be part of the organization, and she looks forward to working toward her goals.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to lead the Golden Hour Senior Center. It is a busy job in a busy place, but the satisfaction of seeing out patrons engaged and satisfied makes it all worthwhile,” Lauritzen said.
The community can keep up with GHSC via its Facebook page.