SOUTH PLAINFIELD – The South Plainfield Senior Center hosted their drive-thru Meatball Monday on Oct. 19 at the back entrance of the Senior Center on 90 Maple Ave. Over 80 seniors attended, with a line of cars extending through the parking as seniors picked up meatball sandwiches, sides, desserts and goody bags. The center is a hub of social activity for local seniors with classes, trips and events. Even though it has been closed since March, it remains active, adapting to COVID-19 guidelines and holding events outdoors.

“Meatball Monday was a success!” said Tree Olano, South Plainfield Senior Center Director. “The Italian music was blasting, and our seniors enjoyed delicious meatballs, sauce and roll. Everyone also received our ‘infamous Senior Center goody bag’ which included, a dessert, water and of course, some inspiration quotes!”    

Decorated in the theme of an Italian café with red, green and white balloons, checkered tablecloths, Italian aprons and cheerful greetings, Meatball Monday drew a great crowd according to Senior Center staff and volunteers. A popular stop for seniors on their way out of the center's lot was a table full of free puzzles and books as a fun distraction for long days at home.

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“It was great to see all our seniors who came out for ‘Meatball Monday,’” said Council President and Council Liaison to the Senior Cetner Christine Faustini. “I am so grateful to our staff and volunteers for keeping these much-enjoyed traditions going during this time. I can’t wait to see what they have planned next!”

“Special thanks to Pat Gustafson, Grace McGinnis, Gerry Brown, Carol Thieme, Linda Fiore, and Christine Faustini,” said Olano. “Thank you too to Angelo Paradiso for setting up tables and assisting whenever I need him in between taking our Seniors to appointments around town. Sharon Ciullo was delivering meals on wheels and then off the PAL for Zumba class check in at 1:00 p.m.”

While weather permits, Senior Center Zumba and Yoga classes are taking place on the PAL Memorial Field turf field, located at 1250 Maple Ave. Senior Center staff says the turnout for classes has been fantastic.

Mondays is Zumba Gold from 1p.m. to 2p.m. (check in starts at 12:30p.m.) and Wednesday from 11:15a.m. to 12:15p.m. (check in starts at 10:45a.m.). Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is Chair Yoga from 11a.m. to 12p.m. (check in starts at 10:30a.m.). Fridays, there is a special toning Zumba Gold from 1p.m. to 2p.m. (check in starts at 12:30p.m.).

“I love doing events for the seniors in our town,” Olano said. “The last 6 months have been challenging, and I will continue to keep them ALL happy, healthy, moving, engaged and connected.”

The next Senior Center drive-thru event will be “Chilly Willy Wednesday,” taking place on Nov. 4 from 12:30p.m. to 1:30p.m. Those interested must sign up with the Senior Center by calling 908-754-1047.