Stilly Senior Center burglarized, loses popular programs

Stillaguamish Senior Center Program Administrator D.J. Winebrinner shows where the lock on the door to the senior center
Stillaguamish Senior Center Program Administrator D.J. Winebrinner shows where the lock on the door to the senior center's offices was broken.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

SMOKEY POINT — On the morning of Monday, April 22, the staff of the Stillaguamish Senior Center came in to find their offices ransacked and some of their most popular recreation programs gutted.

Jo Olson, executive director of the Stillaguamish Senior Center, reported that the thousands of dollars of equipment that had been stolen included not only the offices' computers and a Sony digital camera, but also a brand-new electronic piano keyboard, a large flatscreen television, a Nintendo Wii, an Xbox Kinect and several games for those systems.

"We have an advisory council of seniors that receives a portion of our fundraising proceeds to spend as they see fit, and these were their purchases," Olson said. "It's really a theft from the seniors even more than it is from the senior center, and it's just been devastating to them. Who would take from the elderly like this?"

Olson cited examples such as Jerry Hall, a Wii bowler for whom the Stillaguamish Senior Center's tournaments are his primary social outlet, and Minnie Davis, a pianist who had played the senior center's piano in decades past before it wore out, for whom the keyboard was a new way to keep her talents in practice.

"The Happy Stillies practice their singing here with that keyboard as well," Olson said. "We've gained so many new participants in our activities because of the Wii and Kinect, but now our seniors have lost those activities, which are huge parts of their lives."

Those who might have any information regarding the burglary are being asked to call the Arlington Police Department at 360-403-3400, who those who are interested in donating to the Stillaguamish Senior Center may call Olson at 360-653-4551.

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