Senior: Eleanor Swagger

Eleanor Swagger volunteers as often as needed at the Dayton Senior Center. From serving lunches to helping Site Manager Nancy Cregan with just about anything, Swagger is a busy woman.

"I'm here every day," said Swagger. "I come in and play cards, have lunch, play Bingo on Mondays and Wednesdays. I come in just about every day."

Cregan has selected Swagger as the Dayton Senior Center Volunteer of the Week.

Swagger has volunteered at the center about a year. In addition to helping serve lunches and aiding Cregan in other areas, Swagger helps box food for distribution. On the distribution day, she takes care of the signups for those receiving the food.

"Boy, that's a job. Sorting and boxing all the food takes a lot of time and work. We could use more volunteers just to help out with that. And, to help carry the boxes out to the people's cars."

One factor that keeps Swagger in the center nearly every day is she likes the food.

"We get very generous portions here. And the food is tasty and hot. Nobody ever walks away hungry. If they do, there's something wrong with them," she chuckled.

Twice a week, the center receives donations of breads and pastries from Safeway and Smith's grocery stores. For the seniors visiting the center on those days, they are welcome to share the items and make a donation in return, if possible.

"We are real appreciative to Smith's and Safeway for their donations."

For Tuesday luncheons, one plate is specifically marked. The person receiving that plate wins a free lunch.

"People can also win a free lunch if they play Bingo on Wednesday," said Swagger. "Whoever the winner is of the last game played wins a free lunch. It's a lot of fun.

"We try to make everyone feel welcome here. If they've never been here before, they are introduced to everyone and welcomed back."

Swagger moved to Dayton from Carson City about a year ago. She and her husband of nearly 20 years, Jim, have lived in Carson City off and on for 20 years.

"We traveled a lot, but kept coming back. After doing this for a while, we decided we may even stay. And, well, we are. There's just something about this area we couldn't get away from. The people are great, they're very friendly."

Other areas where Swagger has lived in include San Jose and Rosemont, both in California, and Arizona.

"In some places, they don't consider you a resident unless you've been born, raised and married there. But here, you just walk by and people say hello. That's how friendly they are.

"And we try to do that here at the center. We say hello to everyone that comes in. Plus, we all love and appreciate Nancy. She works very hard here to keep everyone happy.

"Oh, and if you don't know how to play cards - we'll teach you. And check your blood pressure."


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