Bonita Springs Florida Weekly

Naples Senior Center hosts topping off celebration for new permanent home


Construction is underway on the 30,000-square-foot Naples Senior Center located on Autumn Oaks Lane, just a block south of Immokalee Road in North Naples. CONE COMMUNICATIONS / COURTESY PHOTOS

Construction is underway on the 30,000-square-foot Naples Senior Center located on Autumn Oaks Lane, just a block south of Immokalee Road in North Naples. CONE COMMUNICATIONS / COURTESY PHOTOS

Trustees and other senior leadership from the Naples Senior Center got a sneak preview of the nonprofit’s new permanent home at a Topping Off Celebration at its future site. The invitation only event celebrated the general finishing of the structure of the building and marked yet another milestone in the growth of Naples Senior Center.

Construction began on the 30,000-square-foot building in November 2021 and is currently on schedule for completion by the end of this year. The building is located on 13.7 acres on Autumn Oaks Lane, just a block south of Immokalee Road in North Naples.

Naples Senior Center is the only human services agency of its kind, providing “one-stop shop” services addressing the emotional and social needs of seniors in Collier and southern Lee counties. Since opening its doors in 2014, the organization has seen its membership surge from just 80 members initially to more than 1,400 members today.

“In just seven years, we have seen a surge in the depth and scope of need for comprehensive senior services in this region and we have quickly outgrown our current leased facilities,” said Jaclynn Faffer DSW, President/CEO of Naples Senior Center. “This new building will give us the additional resources needed to provide our growing elderly population with the tools to address life’s challenges, like isolation and loneliness.”

Jaclynn Faffer DSW, President/CEO of Naples Senior Center, presents opening remarks to invitation-only attendees touring the ongoing construction of the Center’s new permanent home. Completion is anticipated by end of 2022.

Jaclynn Faffer DSW, President/CEO of Naples Senior Center, presents opening remarks to invitation-only attendees touring the ongoing construction of the Center’s new permanent home. Completion is anticipated by end of 2022.

During the ceremony, attendees enjoyed a guided tour of the first floor of the new building which will house a series of meeting rooms with large floor-to-ceiling windows, an art room, library, main reception area and some offices. Additional administrative offices and meeting space will occupy the second floor. Also located on the first floor will be a prominent donor wall, behind which attendees were able to sign their names.

The new Naples Senior Center will be centrally located to the largest concentration of members and will be easily accessible from other locations in Collier County. The site also will enable seniors to benefit from a nurturing, natural setting that offers outdoor space for walking, quiet contemplation and low-impact exercise programs such as tai chi.

Naples Senior Center launched its capital campaign in 2019 to generate the funds needed to secure the land, construct the building, and meet appropriate furniture/fixtures and equipment requirements. The capital campaign was accelerated by a $5-million commitment from local philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker. This lead gift helped put the project on a successful track and inspired others in the community to support the cause.

“Naples Senior Center serves a critical need for older adults in our community,” said Jay Baker. “We are proud to support their mission of enriching the lives of those 60 years and older by providing essential programs and social services. We hope our contribution will encourage other community-minded individuals to step up in support of this mission.”

All programs and services are provided by licensed and credentialed professionals. These include structured dementia respite support; geriatric case management and senior outreach programs; and emotional support services as well as a “choice” food pantry.

An average of 40 different social, educational and wellness programs also are offered each week thanks to a dedicated corps of more than 200 trained and vetted volunteers. Among the programs are a weekly “Lunch and More;” classes in art, music and film; brain fitness and educational seminars; courses in computer science; physical well-being; and interest groups. The center serves everyone regardless of backgrounds and beliefs.

For additional information on the Naples Senior Center and its comprehensive programs and social services for area seniors and their families, visit www.NaplesSeniorCenter.org. ¦

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