Farewell to the past 41 years of Clovis Senior Activity Center

Photo by Destiny De La Cruz, Clovis Roundup

September 27, 2023 – “Today is an opportunity to look back at the past 41 years,” opened City of Clovis Deputy General Services Director Amy Hance.

The farewell party started with some welcoming speeches by various important community members, including: Mayor Lynne Ashbeck, Mayor Pro Tem Vong Mouanoutoua, Kiwanis Club Director Eddie De Leon, Councilmember Drew Bessinger, and Clovis Veterans Memorial District Vice Chairman Don Watnick.

October 5th, 1981 was the groundbreaking for the original Clovis Senior Activity Center on 850 4th Street. The facility officially opened on September 25th 1982.

A lot has changed since 1982, “but one thing hasn’t changed—our commitment to supporting an active and fulfilled life for older adults,” said Hance.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig presented Deputy General Services Director Amy Hance with a certificate of recognition he hopes will be displayed at the new facility once it opens. 

Photo by Destiny De La Cruz, Clovis Roundup

“We are really excited about what’s ahead in the new building that is a monument to our past—with the siding from the old lumber mill and all the rest—but inside is the heart of Clovis. And that is all of you and the difference you have made,” said Mayor Ashbeck.

Pro Tem Mayor Mouanoutoua spoke about Clovis Senior Activity Center being a place where people could come and “create more conversations of ‘remember when.’”

“We also thank the residents for supporting our seniors, because you allowed us to invest your tax dollars to put into these new buildings and current buildings, and to invest in programs. Lastly, thank you to the seniors who come here,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mouanoutoua.

“We will continue to do what is right, because that is what we’ve learned from councils before us,” . . . “We look forward to what is new and the memories that we will build there.”

Clovis Kiwanis Club Director Eddie De Leon mentioned how they contributed originally to the current building when it first opened, and how they will be funding the billiards room at the new building in spirit of that. 

Councilmember Drew Bessinger spoke of the history of the nearby area surrounding the current building, and also the history of what the building itself has seen. “When we look at what has occurred in this facility since 1982; hundreds of weddings, thousands of bingo games, lots of dance classes, pottery, things like that,” said Bessinger.

“And it gave our seniors an opportunity to get out of the house—chat and socialize with other folks.” 

CVMD Vice Chairman Don Watnick spoke about the original resolution for the City Council to establish a senior center memorial fund.

“The same resolution was the beginning of a joint powers agreement between the City of Clovis, [CUSD], and [CVMD]—which established a senior citizens program to provide comprehensive social services to the older persons [. . .] of Clovis; to enhance their dignity, support their independence, and encourage their involvement in and with the community,” said Watnick. 

Eventually, CUSD pulled out of the agreement and a new agreement was formed between the City of Clovis and the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

City of Clovis Deputy General Services Director Amy Hance (Photo by Destiny De La Cruz, Clovis Roundup)

City of Clovis Deputy General Services Director Amy Hance closed out the welcoming speeches by naming the “partner agencies and groups who have supported our programs and services throughout the years. You know, the old saying is ‘nothing is accomplished without a group’, and we definitely have a lot of groups that come in and help us every single day—and have through the past 40 years.” 

After the welcoming speeches, lunch was provided by Old Town Kiwanis, followed with a performance by Top Dollar Music Dudes.

Guests who attended the Clovis Senior Activity Center Farewell Party were encouraged to ink their fingerprint on a paper leaf, and then write their name underneath it. These leaves will be collected and used for an art installation in the new Clovis Senior Activity Center.

The new Clovis Senior Activity Center is set to have a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 18th at 10am. The new location will be at the Landmark Square site on 3rd Street, and it will be more than double the size of the current senior center.

From September 28th to October 6th, you can visit the current Clovis Senior Activity Center on 4th street during business hours to participate in a video time capsule.

Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.