The line for birthday cake snaked around the lobby as friends joyfully greeted each other and laughter became part of the song being played by the piano in the next room.
The last Friday of every month is a cause for celebration at the Sparks Senior Center, located at 97 Richards Way.
Seniors can have their blood pressure tested for free by Sparks firefighters before enjoying lunch and a slice of birthday cake.
Everyone receives raffle tickets for the chance to win a bouquet of flowers donated by Amy’s Flowers located at 1349 Baring Blvd.
And this particular Friday was even more festive, as seniors dropped in for the annual open house and ice cream social as part of Older Americans Month.
“We have had a lot of calls for our ice cream social and activities for Older Americans Month,” said Dawn Costa, a Sparks Senior Center social worker.
Angela Zuliani came to the senior center Friday with some of her gal pals.
“I usually come for the birthday lunches and sometimes in between,” Zuliani said. “Firemen come and measure our blood pressure. It’s nice, you know, there are a lot of things going on and games. I’ve met people here, and made friends. I go to the widow’s club meeting, exercise class and to lunch.”
Zuliani said her son convinced her to come to the senior center in 1992.
“I had lost my husband, and I was getting lonesome,” Zuliani said.
With a bright smile and hands full of raffle tickets, Debbie Seeber worked at the Sparks Senior Center before she was transferred to Reno several months ago.
“I just love working with these wonderful people,” Seeber said. “I love their spirit and how they’re a lot of fun and have a great sense of humor.”
Barbara Dishman said she comes to the Sparks Senior Center three times a week to attend the stretch and tone exercise class with her friends.
“It’s good to keep active, but the great part is socializing with other people,” Dishman said.
Dishman’s friend, Josie Britt, agreed. Britt said she comes to lunch at the Sparks Senior Center once in a while and enjoys the ice cream socials.
“I’ve been taking the exercise class for years and years now,” Britt said. “I meet all my friends here.”
The Sparks Senior Center at 98 Richards Way is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, please call 353-3113. If you would like to reserve a lunch, you must call before 9:15 a.m. that morning.