Rotary: Lauritzen Describes Senior Centers During Pandemic


Bernadette Lauritzen, the executive director of the Betty Ehart Senior Center and White Rock Senior Center, was the guest speaker at the June 2 meeting of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos.

Seated in front of a wall with Betty Ehart’s portrait behind her, Lauritzen described the accommodations the senior centers have made during the COVID-19 crisis.

Changes began immediately March 14, just as the senior centers were about to celebrate Pi Day (3.14). Acting quickly, Lauritzen and staff members worked diligently to make drive-thru lunch arrangements for seniors who ordinarily would dine together at the centers. They are now serving up to 100 such meals each day, with up to 50 home deliveries.

Lauritzen said she hopes that the senior community will look to the centers as points of contact for coordinating grocery shopping, providing transportation to medical appointments and answers to questions about other needs.

Staff members are providing small care packages for seniors; children and adults alike have shared their artwork and friendly notes for these packages. All of these gestures are intended to let individuals in isolation know that they are not forgotten. 

Although Lauritzen does not know when the senior centers will re-open, the County has indicated that she and her staff will be given a two-week notice so they can complete their final preparations. She expects the drive-thru lunch program to extend through August. Lauritzen said she knows that will scarcely be soon enough for those who enjoy dining onsite especially when favorites like Frito pie and green chile cheeseburgers are on the menu.

For information about the senior centers services, visit,or call 662.8920.