The center is one of the most popular places in town for Friday lunch, serving anywhere from 75 to 90 people starting at 11:30 a.m.
"It's never any less than 75 people," said Evelyn Edeen, the center's part-time office manager. "It's the food."
Lunches -- $3 for members and $4 for nonmembers -- are diverse and sometimes seasonal, such as lasagna and pulled pork sandwiches, turkey during Thanksgiving and corned beef and cabbage in March, all prepared by volunteers.
Preparing lunch has been easier since the senior center moved three years ago to a manufactured building on Soper Hill Road with a commercial kitchen and close to Eagle Ridge Park at Highway 9 and Lundeen Parkway.
On the city of Lake Stevens website, the senior center is described as boasting 2,800 square feet with a commercial kitchen "that will put any restaurant to shame."
"One lady described it to me this way: She comes to the senior center for fellowship, food and fun," said Edeen, who has been with the center for about five years.
The senior center has about 225 members, many of them 60 and up but members are getting younger, Edeen said.
The popular lunch program is part of what has helped grow membership at the Lake Stevens center -- that and a variety of trips and programs.
Those programs include exercise sessions and art classes every Wednesday and group games such as pinochle, bridge and Scrabble one day a month.
The center also takes members on three trips a month to such sites as the Flying Heritage Collection museum at Paine Field in Everett, Angel of the Winds casino in Arlington and the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
"In Lake Stevens, as far as I know of, there aren't any other options for seniors who want to take trips around our area but don't want to drive," Edeen said.
And every December, the Lake Stevens Senior Center is the only one in the area that actually has a Christmas party. Last year, the party drew 64 seniors, Edeen said.
The center receives a small grant from Snohomish County to operate but relies on fundraisers and donations to keep the lights on.
The center does periodic garage sales and raffles and recently held a gold-buying event.
Edeen said money could be made if more people rented the center for private parties or weddings. But every year, somehow, the Lake Stevens Senior Center raises enough money to stay open for business.
"It's a challenge but I think the volunteers are doing a great job," Edeen said. "With our limited resources, we are certainly filling a need."
Lake Stevens Senior Center
2302 Soper Hill Road Lake Stevens 425-335-0345 info@LakeStevensSeniorCenter.com
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