How are Maricopa seniors responding to having their own recreational space at Santa Cruz Elementary School?

Shirley Moenich


Shirley Moenich: “If you’ve lost a spouse, or you have a spouse in a live-in care center, it’s the best thing you can do. Get out, meet other people, laugh a little bit; it helps get you through the trials and tribulations. People in those situations need that encouragement.”

Mary Freeman

Mary Freeman: “This has been a lifesaver for me. When my husband died, Karen, my daughter, made me do stuff so I wouldn’t just crawl in a hole. And it has been life-changing. Since then, my brother [Norman] started going.”

Norman Wyttenbach

Norman Wyttenbach [Mary’s brother]: “I was 74-years-old and I would recline on my bed, and that’s basically where I lived. Then she started dragging me to pinochle, because I like to play pinochle. So, I’m out of the house, it’s got me out talking to people and meeting new people.”

Lynn Grant

Lynn Grant: “It’s nice to have a place where people can meet other people. [I don’t want] people to sit at home and say, ‘I haven’t met anyone in Maricopa.’ You have to get out and do something. So, this is perfect.”

Karen Wilson [Mary’s daughter]: “I like this facility. This is what the city busted their butt to get for us. It’s clean, its accessible. But, I have bigger visions for it. I’ve

Karen Wilson

only been here a year, but I would like to see more than just games here.”

The senior rooms at Santa Cruz Elementary are open Monday-Friday excluding holidays. Drop-in is from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Park in the north lot and proceed to the back of the building at the chain-link fence. Doors to the senior rooms are at the back of the school. Organized activities throughout the week include pinochle, canasta, farkel and the Creative Sisterhood. Check out the calendar at

This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.


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