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The Thompson Center on Lourdes is a nonprofit community center based inside St. Bernadette School in Appleton, Wisconsin. Their motto is “Celebrating Life over 50.” When the Thompson Community Center on College Avenue closed in March 2016, St. Bernadette Parish offered to provide a space for these active older adults to continue their activities and avoid isolation. St. Bernadette’s Director of Parish Operations, Patty Eichhorst, The Knights of Columbus Council 12269, the Fox Valley Task Force, and the Civic League made the move happen. The Thompson Center on Lourdes began operation in April 2016, recently celebrating their one-year anniversary. Participants can watch The Center evolve and their dreams become reality with many new additions to come!

The Thompson Center on Lourdes provides many activities for people over 50. Some of their activities include many types of card games, bingo, painting, woodcarving, basket weaving, choir, Bible study, crochet and knitting, billiards, exercise classes and monthly Civic League potlucks. Some of their exercise classes are focused on balance. They offer Line Dancing, Boogie Dancing, Pickleball, Tai Chi classes through the ADRC, Stepping On fall prevention and Strong Bones classes also provided by the ADRC. The Center hosts several community dances each year, in addition to volunteer opportunities for keeping its participants socially and physically active. They recently began monthly foot care clinics which provide vital needs and information to participants, especially those with painful issues that affect their balance.

The address is: 2331 East Lourdes Drive, Appleton, WI 54915. Hours of operation: 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday. www.thompsoncenteronlourdes.org

Operations Coordinator, Jenny Craanen is a graduate of St. Norbert College. She has been with The Thompson Center since April 2016 and ensures that schedules run smoothly. Jenny is a firm believer in the mission of The Thompson Center on Lourdes to empower adults and enrich their personal growth by promoting mental, physical, and emotional well-being. In addition to maintaining a welcoming environment for the community, she is committed to providing diverse options and experiences for active older adults to help them keep growing and learning.