Dozens of eager Boonville residents watched as Sherry Bellamy, administrator for the Boonslick Senior Center, cut a long black ribbon and symbolically opened the new facility for area seniors.

“Together as a community, we were able to move our senior center forward in a very positive way,” Bellamy said.

The Boonslick Senior Center relied heavily on public donations to fund this new space, which is located on Ryan Street in Boonville. Bellamy reported that community members donated more than $22,000 in cash for the relocation. In 2017, the center received $6,000 from the city to assist with efforts to deliver nutritious meals to homebound senior. Other than that funding, the center was largely reliant on donations. The center purchased the new space in mid-May. Previously, the center was renting a much smaller space out of the former Radio Shack building. Board members spent the past several weeks readying the space by installing a full-service kitchen and making room for scheduled activities like group exercise classes.

“It’s very exciting that we’re able to own our space for the first time,” board member Diana Jensen said. “We have more room to offer companionship, activities, exercise and nutrition to our seniors.”

The Boonville Chamber of Commerce hosted the ribbon cutting ceremony June 13, a custom they provide for all new businesses in town.

“They’ve been in a different location for so long,” said Tim Litteken, president of the Chamber of Commerce. “They had an opportunity to really improve their facilities, and they took it.”

The new center will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. The center offers a congregate meal program each day to help connect seniors with healthy food and social connections. The center also offers recreational and social activities, exercise classes, volunteer opportunities and health education and screening programs to community members above the age of 60. Seniors that struggle with sight can also benefit from the center’s low vision resources and get help reading.

Betty Wasman, a Boonville senior citizen, has been regularly visiting the center for several months for the social aspect.

“This new space is beautiful, especially compared to where we’re coming from,” she said. “I’ll definitely be coming more.”