Betty Ehart with her children. Courtesy photo
Betty Ehart painting. Courtesy photo
By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Los Alamos Retired & Senior Organization
While Betty Ehart’s birthday is actually in November, the Betty Ehart Senior Center will celebrate its 22nd anniversary June 12.
When local senior center member Kari Lier shared the birthday idea with her friend Suzanne Bell, the event took wings. Bell is the daughter of Betty Ehart, one of the driving forces behind the committee that worked to make the Los Alamos center what it is today.
“She would have been thrilled,” Bell said. “She worked so hard to see it through and now the Center is serving the community just as she hoped it would. She would have pretended to be embarrassed that it was named after her but secretly she would love it.”
While we lost Betty in 1995 the center was her dream, according to Bell. She was in the hospital and the plans for the center were delivered for her to see. Bell believes that since Betty passed on shortly afterward, she knows Betty waited to see those plans first.
The work of that small committee continued and LARSO, the nonprofit that runs the Los Alamos and White Rock senior centers was born. The Betty Ehart Senior Center doors opened June 14, 1998.
Young Betty Ehart
When an old newsletter was discovered touting the Grand Opening, the idea to celebrate began in earnest. The focus was not just to benefit the Betty Ehart Senior Center, but White Rock, too. What improvements could each make after this virus infiltrated our lives, and changed our world. There was a desire to acknowledge the valiant efforts of a staff who have never worked harder then this moment. The icing on the cake, if you will, was to request donations and promise to spend every penny locally.
Los Alamos MainStreet was approached for a small publicity grant, Maire O’Neill put $60 toward that and LARSO was off to the races. The first week, fresh herbs and dirt to amend the soil were purchased at White Rock Metzger’s for Rock Chef Mike Mason and Sous Chef Aliki Benjamin. That purchase was the starting point. A purchase of stain at the Los Alamos Metzger’s is next to freshen the portico for Betty’s Day Out seniors. This week both centers held their first face to face staff meetings while enjoying baked goods and drinks from the Pig and Fig and Los Alamos Co-op.
“Right now continues to be a critical time to support local businesses in safe ways, which includes ordering takeout or delivery, shopping their online stores, and purchasing gift cards now for use at a later time,” said Los Alamos MainStreet Director Lauren McDaniel. “We are excited to support community-driven initiatives like Betty’s Birthday, hosted by the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization, which continue to emphasize buying local.”
Both senior centers will host free cupcakes 10-11 a.m. Friday, June 12, with the hope that people will donate $1 toward their goal. Rumor has it that small party favors are in store and a donation is a chance to win prizes.
Finally, if you love reserving their drive thru lunches, cupcakes also are the dessert of the day. The golden melodious tones of socially distanced and masked HillStrummers hope to boost your mood.
Call 505.662.8920, for more information.