You are invited, and we hope you can make it to our first "Spring" One-Stop-Shopping Event, Saturday, April 28, at 615 W. Tenth St., Ashland. Our hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and our thrift-shop, Bargains in the Belfry, will also be open. Having just celebrated our 15th Annual One-Stop-Shopping Christmas Extravaganza in October 2017, where you could purchase several unique hand-crafted and home party plan merchandise, several of our vendors had been asking for a spring show, so here we go and just in time for Mother’s Day, Graduation and any other special occasion. And we even have some new vendors offering some homemade baked goods and candies since the Senior Center will not be hosting a bake sale.

Our thrift-shop, Bargains in the Belfry, is open, with lots of bargains, for your shopping pleasure Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with donations being accepted only those days from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Have you been cleaning your closets, down-sizing or just plain tired of some home decorations and personal items? Perhaps you’d consider donating your nice clean gently used items from clothing and accessories to sewing and notions, craft items, puzzles, games, small household items, knick-knacks, toys, etc.

Our annual membership fees remain at $12, and while membership age is considered 55 years of age and older, at the same annual fee of $12 per person we also offer an associates membership if you are younger than 55. Have you given any thought to joining our Center and attending our weekly Monday lunches and programs; enjoying card games — bridge, euchre, pinochle, the game of garbage and, hopefully, soon to be canasta; traveling along on our one-day bus trips; volunteering in our thrift shop — Bargains in the Belfry; volunteering in our kitchen making noodles and helping with other events; or singing with our Golden Serenaders? There are many opportunities to get involved, though since our last writing (January) the board of trustees regrets to inform you that the Odds & Ends Band is no longer affiliated with our Center.

Beginning our 47th year, our chair caning business continues, with seven faithful volunteers each Wednesday morning, a perfect time to bring your project to the Center if you would like an estimate; however items are accepted in the office, Monday through Thursday if you would simply like to drop-off your project.

We do have some nice one-day bus trips planned for this year, with just a couple of them finalized and ready for advertising. Other one-day bus trips are nearing final details and will be available soon. Though our trips are advertised to our members first, you do not need to be a member of the Center or even a senior to travel along with us. Drop by the Center to pick up the travel information, make your reservations and make the trip payment. Sorry our trip flyers are not mailed out unless you send a self-addressed stamped envelope to obtain that information.

Thursday, May 10, travels will take us to the Dayton area. Upon arrival to the Dayton area, our day will begin at Dayton’s Carillon Brewing Co., an 1850s style brewery and the only U.S. brewery that uses historic brewing methods. An all-inclusive buffet lunch will be enjoyed at the Carillon Brewery. After lunch, we will visit the Carillon Historical Park, where there is much to see and do. The Heritage Center is where our exploration begins and offers many historic features.

Then on Thursday, June 28, join us for a nice train ride, as we enjoy lunch on the Old World Dinner Train at Blissfield, Michigan. While enjoying a ride on The Old World, we will be seated in traditional railcar fashion with four people to a table — complete with white linen table covers, China dishes and crystal. They have been given a five-star rating, and we will see why when we board. We will be greeted at the platform by their conductor who will see to our needs as we enter the dining car. All coaches are climate controlled and come with bathrooms attached for your convenience. For the comfort of all patrons, smoking is prohibited on-board.

As the weather warms for the spring and early summer seasons, we hope to see you soon and hope that you will want to become a part of our Center.

Becky Echelberger is president of Senior Citizens of Ashland County.