Mission and History
The Center is a meeting place for adults 50 and older to explore their interests through engaging programs, social connection, and to make a difference through volunteer opportunities that strengthen the community.
Annie and Hank Spaulding’s vision
The Center was a vision brought to life by Annie and Hank Spaulding in 1990. They were longtime residents and business owners in Kennebunk and noticed that as their parents were aging they were becoming more isolated from the community. Driving was a problem, their world was getting smaller and smaller, and that was devastating for Annie and Hank to watch.
What to do? At the time, Annie ran an antique and interior accessories shop, Annie’s Apple, on Port Road in Kennebunk. She and Hank decided to turn it into the “Senior Center at Lower Village”, a place for the community’s elders to come and go, to meet with friends for games, education, and engagement with one another. Annie sold her business and used the money to convert the shop into the Center.
The Center opens its doors
In 1990 the Center opened its doors and membership quickly grew to two hundred residents from all economic backgrounds. It was evident they enjoyed the camaraderie they found at the Center. In 1995 the Center became self-sustaining through memberships, donations, fundraisers, business sponsorships, small budget allowances from Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, and an endowment created by many donors.
A home away from home
Today the Center has nearly 400 members, some coming from as far away as Sanford, Biddeford, and Old Orchard Beach to enjoy the atmosphere and services offered. On any given day you’ll find members involved in various activities such as yoga classes, learning a new skill, chatting with friends over a game of Bridge or Mah Jong, or enjoying a luncheon. The sound of laughter wafts through the rooms. This is their home away from home, their place to go to meet friends and make new ones.
Many of our members give back to the Center and our community as well. They roll up their sleeves and help with fundraisers as well as volunteer for our FISH program to give rides to residents who can’t drive and need to get to the doctor. They collect donations to make holiday gift bags for elders who are alone during the holidays. The people here are what makes the Center comfortable for fellow members, what makes it hum with life.
30th Anniversary is in 2020
The Center will celebrate its 30th year of service to the community in 2020. Annie has devoted nearly 30 years of her life to the Center and its wellbeing. When asked about her thoughts on the Center, she said:
“It is one thing to start a new endeavor such as the Center but it is certainly another thing to sustain it. This is the reason I am grateful to the staff and Board of Trustees, both past and present. Their support and commitment has been truly outstanding.
To the members of the Center, I have come to know many of you and I value your membership. I am so impressed with your positive attitude and your achievements. You have made an impression on my life.
To the staff, Board and members I thank you for making my life meaningful and happy. I know that Hank would express the same sentiment if he was still with us.
My hope is that the Center will grow and thrive, meet new challenges successfully, and remain an asset to our wonderful community.”
Come visit, see what the Center is about, and become a part of the next chapter of history here. We have energy and ideas and we’d love for you to join us.