Nicole Barr speaks to the Lewis County Center seniors

By Lynnette Hoffman

Olequa Senior Center has made several changes and Nicole Barr was happy to give us the information about the changes she has in store for our community. Talking with Nicole, she has such enthusiasm for her new role and she is looking forward to meeting the community.

Nicole mentioned that she had been getting a lot of inquiries regarding the meals, she stated, "The most important question is about the meals? Nutrition lunches, (suggested donations for seniors, or $10.69 for all others), will be served on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with enrichment lunches (open to the public and prices vary) on Mondays and Fridays. I will also have a light breakfast/brunch available on Wednesdays as I do not want to infringe on the senior lunches happening at the church. These have been good for the community during the time where we were not able to be open, and I hope to see it continue."

"Homemade food is coming," she said. "Starting next week most enrichment lunches will be from scratch recipes and we are converting all nutrition lunches to scratch, as well. This one will take a while as we go through the process of submitting recipes for approval to the nutritionist. Please make note that to-go meals are available. Hopefully, by February we will be able to accommodate those seniors who are not comfortable coming into the centers for congregate dining. We will provide seniors with weekly to-go sets similar to what was provided through December. There is no reason any seniors should be going hungry! If you need food, please contact me via any of the methods at the end of this article."

One of the other things Nicole is working on is activities, she understands the importance of exercise for everyone. "I am already working on bringing different exercise classes, as well as a monthly dance class to the center," she said. "We are currently waiting on information about an aerobics instructor from the college, and have spoken with Robin from Winlock Dance about a senior yoga class. I am also looking for instructors for arts, quilting/sewing and other crafts as well as setting up some card games and tournaments, maybe even a book club. If this is you, please contact me! I want the space to be fully functioning and inviting, for the room to have a 'game area' and a 'quiet area' with computers, books and puzzles. We are not just a space to visit and socialize, we also have a multitude of resources at our fingertips. We can help with getting Seniors connected where they need support. Please do not forget that we are here to support the Seniors in many ways, not just the very important meals."

During the stormy weather, there were challenges. Nicole stated, "Winter weather and holiday plans have made coming into the center more difficult lately. With the center being open 5 days a week, more seniors will be able to come in during their trips to town. The center is a great place to meet up with friends, for a cup of coffee or a card game."

There have been many changes and Nicole wanted to share the changes with the community. Operationally, there are some changes, Nicole continued, "The LCS program has made some big operating changes with the reopening. We are no longer separate entities, but one big program all working to support the seniors of Lewis County. We are still dependent on donations from the community, participation from everyone on enrichment days (these are fundraising meals to keep it going) and overall support for the classes and events. Are you looking for a way to help? There are two big ones right now, I would appreciate volunteers to help during meal times, and donations of food items (or funds!) for enrichment meals. The less our cost, the more that is made for the program. We have a menu for the month already and can tell you what we need! We also have an amazon wish list that has been added to the Olequa Senior Center facebook page with items that are needed for the center. Last but not least, we are looking for a group of goal-oriented individuals who can help me plan and execute fundraising events."

Carol Brock from the Lewis County Senior Board stated, "Nicole is an energetic individual, compassionate wife, mother, farmer and now a site leader for The Lewis County Seniors Organization, Winlock location. Having Nicole in the community where she and her family live is just what the site needs to grow and again be part of the area and share all of its events. Please stop in and see what Nicole has planned and help her to support any ideas you may have to support not just LCS, but more importantly Winlock. As time permits, she will be around in the community asking for your support. Nicole started during the emergency meal program and was extremely beneficial in preparing and delivering those meals."

A well-loved and former site leader, Diana Haag, also provided information about Nicole. She stated, "I'm so excited to see Nicole take her New Role on as Site Manager at the Olequa Senior Center. I admire Nicole's Vivacity and her enormous enthusiasm for her position. She encourages input for ideas as activities at the center. She's a warm and caring person and welcomes all."

Nicole is available to the seniors; she can be reached at 360-785-4325, via email at or stop by the center between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.