Gathering Place

By Matthew Avitabile

COBLESKILL — Thanks to a collaboration between volunteers, dedicated staff at the Gathering Place, and a timely donation by a community benefactor, the Gathering Place 50 Plus Community Center in Cobleskill will be expanding again.

The latest expansion is well underway, said Gathering Place Executive Director Kim Witkowski. The progress is thanks to a $220,000 donation from the Nicholas Jr. Juried Family Foundation. Mr. Juried, who grew up in Gilboa, has been instrumental in the center’s expansion.

“Thanks to two grants from Nicholas Juried, we have been able to double the size of our building with the addition of The Nicholas J. Juried Great Room to accommodate our growing membership which is now reaching 900 hundred members! This Great Room will be used as additional space for programming and events, additional office spaces, two additional ADA bathrooms, a three-season covered porch, as well as a removable stage area for our own musical events and guest speakers.”

Witkowski added that the Gathering Place will be adding an adult respite program, which may be ready by autumn 2023.

Witkowski said, “We have so many aging adults in our community that are trying to stay in their homes as long as possible.  We hope by creating an adult respite program we will be able to help our aging community stay active as long as possible, while providing a safe and supportive environment, and give their caregivers some much-needed time to do their errands and focus on their own mental and physical health as well.  This new Great Room will give us the space to run programs such as this.”

The senior center’s success has attracted hundreds of members from across Schoharie County and beyond. The center is staffed by a number of professionals and has received considerable aid from volunteers and the Schoharie County Council of Senior Citizens.

The director added, “We could not have done this without all of the support from the community, and such generous donors like Nick Juried.  Nick has made such an unbelievably positive impact in our county and we are so blessed to have his support!”