Photos Courtesy of Flashes
HISTORY (RED LODGE SENIOR CITIZENS’ CLUB)
In 1970, a small group of Red Lodge citizens recognized the need for a place for area senior citizens to gather. The group organized in order to resolve the matter, and on September 11, 1972, the Red Lodge Senior Citizens Club was issued a certificate of incorporation by the Montana Secretary of State.
The Club met in a downtown building until the closing of St. Agnes School availed them of a meeting place. The School became home in 1977. In 1988, fearing the rumors that St. Agnes would be sold and they would be left without a Center, the group formed a land acquisition committee. Ludivico Jarussi, an Italian immigrant, had cleared the land, which had been the West Side Mine in order to plant a garden for his large family. A generous donation of that land by the Jarussi family solved the land acquisition problem.
With the land acquired, a Community Development Block Grant of $330,000 was awarded to the Seniors on January 8, 1990. The required matching funds of $77,000 were raised; the Red Lodge City Council waived construction fees of $3,000, and ground was broken on Villard Avenue on September 23, 1990. The Center held an Open House on April 21, 1991. The Red Lodge Center was the first Center to be built with Community Block Grant Funds.
In the years since the Open House, the Center has weathered many kinds of storms. The Thrift Store has morphed into the financial rock that funds all programs. Adeline's Attic, a 3200 square foot addition housing the expanded thrift store, was completed in April of 2015. The Red Lodge seniors are appreciative and indebted to the community for their sustained and unwavering support and look forward optimistically to the future.
The Jarussi Sisters
"We are Not building this for ourselves. We are building it for the people of the community. Teenagers will never be teenagers again----but if they live long enough, they will become senior citizens."
Marvin Pelo, President, December 8th, 1989