Andover Senior Community Friends, Inc. (ASCF)
Who We
Are : The Andover Senior Community Friends is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote, support, and sponsor programs at the Center at Punchard.

Letter from Ann Cobliegh, President of Friends. Click here

Become a Member: By becoming a member of the FRIENDS you will help to make this possible.

 Members of the FRIENDS also receive a $2 discount on the bus trips sponsored by the FRIENDS.

 Join us.
Please send your tax deductible contribution to:
Andover Senior Community FRIENDS
c/o The Center at Punchard
30 Whittier Court
Andover  MA  01810
Click here for download of membership application.

The Andover Senior Community FRIENDS' Meetings:
* Friday, March 3; 7:00 am
* Friday, April 14; 7:00 am
* Friday, May 12; 7:00 am
* Friday, June 9; 7:00 am
The Andover Senior Community FRIENDS is always looking for volunteers – one for recording secretary and someone to do press releases and related promotions. This would require an early morning meeting once a month with a group of interesting people. For more information, contact Ann Cobleigh 978-387-7160. Officers: Ann Cobleigh, President; Dan McDuffie, Treasurer; Ann O'Sullivan, Clerk.

Friends' Trips and Activities
Advanced Registration at The Center. 
* Checks should be made payable to ASCF
* Members of the ASCF receive a $2 discount.
* Trip reservations are considered final and nontransferable.
* A refund will be issued only if a waiting list exists and we can fill the space.
* Members of the ASCF receive a $2 discount.Trip reservations are considered final and non-transferable.
~ Museum of Russian Icons
Tour the largest and best collection of icons outside of Russia. Includes admission, guided tour and lunch at the “Old Timer Restaurant”.
Wednesday, March 8; 10:15 – 4:30 pm; $48/46*

~ Silver Fountain Tea Parlor, Dover, NH
Includes high tea and transportation. The Duchess of Bedford High Tea is rated by Yankee Magazine as New England’s Best Tea Experience.
Wednesday, April 19; 10:30 - 4:30 pm; $45/43*

Coming! May Seniors' Health and Wellness Fair ~ Free! Fun! Watch fore more information


September 2016 Spotlight ~  New Director and National Senior Center Month
* Annmary Connor : New Director of Andover Elder Services
The Town of Andover and the Center at Punchard welcome the new Director of Andover Elder Services, Annmary Connor. This month, National Senior Center Month, is most appropriate for Andover residents to welcome the New Director of Elder Services, Annmary Connor, who begins her tenure at The Center at Punchard on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.  Annmary joins us as Andover celebrates its 50th anniversary of our own Town Meeting "Council on Aging Mandate," March 12, 1966.
Click here to read about her in the Townsman. Please drop by to welcome her.

Welcome Annmary from staff, clients and residents!

* History of National Senior Center Month

 ~ National History (National Council of Aging)
Our national celebration of senior centers began in 1979, with Senior Center Week celebrated in May. The concept gained support of other aging organizations, as well as the full Senate and the House Select Committee on Aging.
Thanks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Aging Task Force, numerous mayoral proclamations celebrated Senior Center Week. In 1985, NISC (National Institute of Senior Centers) was instrumental in achieving the first Senior Center Week Presidential Proclamation signed by President Ronald Reagan. In 2007, NISC designated the entire month of September as Senior Center Month to give centers greater flexibility in scheduling celebratory events. This year's theme is Find Balance at Your Center.

 ~ Andover History: Council on Aging Mandate ~ 
Town Meeting, Article 35, March 12, 1966

The general purposes and functions of this Council shall be:
•Identify the total needs of the community’s elderly population.
•Educate the community and enlist support and participation of all citizens these needs.
•Design, promote or implement services to fill these needs, or to coordinate existing services in the community.
•Promote and support any other programs which are designed to assist elderly in the community.

•Enlist and develop capable volunteers and professional leadership for the purposes stated in the Article.
The Council on Aging Advisory Board members, who are appointed by the Town Manager, are the eyes and ears in the community to hear concerns from their friends and neighbors. This collaboration results in programs that are planned, services provided and advocacy initiatives. 
* Consider attending the monthly COAB meeting, held at 8:00am on the 2nd Thursday of the month at the Center at   Punchard. Open to all.
The Center at Punchard is always open to suggestions and comments from our clients. This is Your Center!

August 2016 Spotlight ~ Madelaine Y. St. Amand
When Madelaine Y. St. Amand, former Chairperson of the Commission on Disabilities, passed away last month, Andover lost a tireless advocate, not just for issues affecting persons with a disability, but also as someone who spoke her mind and fought for matters of social justice that affect all of us. During her tenure, the Commission collaborated with the Council on Aging and Andover Public Safety to allocate funding for the Town to purchase Lock Boxes.

The Lock Box Program assists Firefighters and Emergency Service Personnel in gaining rapid entry into your home in the event of an emergency, saving time and property by eliminating the need for forced entry. A residential lock box is a heavy, metal, safe-like box that is mounted on the door jamb of your home. A key to your house is secured inside the box and access to the box can only be obtained by a master key created specifically for Andover Fire Rescue. This master key remains secured on the fire apparatus and is only accessible to Andover Fire Rescue Personnel. In the event of an emergency in which you are unable to open the door for First Responders, Fire Rescue can use their master key to open the lock box and access your house key to gain entry into your home.

Having a lock box can add lifesaving minutes during an emergency and can save property damage that forcibly gaining entry may cause. If you are the owner of a single family home in Andover, you may request a lock box through Andover Fire Rescue. A Fire Official will schedule an appointment to come to your home and install the box for you. Forms are available at the Center at Punchard or on the Town of Andover Public Safety website.

July 2016 Spotlight
Retirement Celebrations ~ Donna Morse and Kathy Urquhart
With heartfelt thanks to both of you for all you have accomplished in your many years of service to the Senior Community and to the quality of life in Andover itself. You will be both be missed for your talents, your innovations and all the hard work you have contributed to making Andover a wonderful community for all ages. With all of our best wishes for Happy & Healthy Retirements!
                                   catpstaff retirement 
                                                              Center at Punchard Staff, July 2016

        * Celebration for Donna Morse
On July 12, 2016, we wished Center @Punchard administrative assistant,
Donna Morse, a happy and healthy retirement.
After 25 years working in the  Andover Accounting Department,
Donna worked at the Center @ Punchard for almost 9 years,
close to 35 years total in service to the Town of Andover!

     Celebration for Kathy Urquhart
A celebration was held on July 14, 2016 for the Director of Andover's 
Center @ Punchard retiring Director, Kathy Urquhart,
celebrating her 31 years of service, on her last day at The Center.
 Click here for letter from Retiring Director, Kathy Urquhart

donna morse1

       donna arborday

         donna kathy               kathyu 1 

                           donna jeannie


June 2016 Spotlight ~ Nutrition
frank nutritionhef Frank Melendez at the Center at Punchard
Frank has been with the Center since October of 2001.  He oversaw a complete re-do of the   kitchen to take  it up to a state-of-the-art facility.  He originated our “Lunch Box” diner, which serves lunch to seniors, Town staff and the general public.  Frank initiated a very successful catering program whose proceeds go directly to day-to-day operations of the Center. He supervises a staff of over 20 senior volunteers per day.
All this is in addition to preparing hot meals for over 30 in-house and 70 delivered meals daily.  Frank’s only flaw, as far as we can tell, is rooting for the Yankees!

* Congregate Meal (Hot Lunch)

Join us for the congregate lunch any day of the week (Monday thru Friday).
Sign up on the touch screen at The Center at least 24 hours prior or call The Center to be added to the list. Suggested donation is $2.50.

* Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels are available to those who are unable to access The Center's lunch site. This program is provided for individuals 60 years of age or over who are homebound, unable to leave home without help, unable to shop and have no reliable assistance to do the shopping. The menu for the Meals on Wheels program follows the Hot Lunch program.

* Grill Nights
Have you attended any of our Summer Grill Nights? Every other Thursday night Frank serves hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, specials, salads, drinks and desserts! Come enjoy a summer night on the patio!

* Lunch Box
There are many choices on the Lunch Box menu from breakfast items to salads and panini sandwiches. See the menu on the web site at

The Monthly Menu is always printed in the News and Views Newsletter as well as on the Nutrition page of the Website.  
We know you will enjoy your meal!

May 2016 Spotlight ~
Older Americans' Month
When Older Americans' Month was first observed in May, 1963, it was a way to acknowledge the contributions of past and present older persons. There were 17 million Americans who had reached their 65th birthday. About a third lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs.

Today, 53 years later, almost 10,000 are turning 65 every day in this country. It is estimated that by 2050, the 40+ million senior population of today will increase to 89 million. The numbers are staggering. Even more so is the shift in thinking. Many in their 60’s and 70’s are active, in relatively good health, often still working and probably not considering themselves “old”. Here in Andover, the U.S. census shows a 27% increase between 2000 -2010 in the number of residents age 60+ and a comparable increase of those 85+.

The Center at Punchard traditional celebration of Older Americans' Month is a Birthday Celebration for those who are 85 and older,  with a cake and all the party trimmings. Invitations are in the mail. We are hoping for a full house.
Please bring it to the attention of anyone you know who should be joining the celebration.

April 2016 Spotlight ~ Viola Demeo
Viola DiMeo grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the first generation in her family born in this country. Her parents had moved from Italy to this close knit neighborhood near the Navy Yard. She remembers Italian being the language spoken at home and learning English at the Community Center about age 5.

Her parents had a grocery store and “luncheonette” and she worked there from an early age. Even when she was in school (P.S.157) she would go to a nearby factory and take lunch orders and then deliver them during her own lunch hour from school. This was before schools served lunch so students went home at lunchtime. She also remembers being the only family in the neighborhood with electric lights and indoor plumbing. You may have started trying to guess Vi’s age; born in 1917, she’s looking forward to celebrating her 99th birthday in November.

She has lived with her daughter Lucille here in Andover for the past 13 years and whips up several floral arrangements (which you have undoubtedly seen around The Center) during her weekly visits. When I asked how she got involved with flower arranging I learned that she was in her 40’s when she and her husband moved from Brooklyn to Stonybrook, NY where she joined the local Garden Club. She began growing flowers and was soon entering arrangements in competitions and winning; she was also known for the roses she grew.  “Just like that”, I asked; “you’d never grown anything before?” I was thinking that there wasn’t much open space in Brooklyn, but learned Vi’s father grafted trees in his tiny yard with her help, developing a talent she later used when growing the roses for which she became known.

Wondering how she met her husband, I learned that even though she didn’t know how to dance, she wanted to go dancing. So with her mother as a chaperone, she and a friend went to a dance hall in the neighborhood where her husband, Mike, her future husband of 69 years, who she met that night asked her to dance. “I don’t know how” was her response, but they danced all night and eventually overcame her father’s resistance. Nights together were at her parents’ house, not out on a date. It turned out that his cousins lived across the street from Vi, so he would often join her family for dinner after work and spend the night at his cousins rather than making the long journey home.

 Vi learned to drive in her 40’s; moved to Saugerties, NY to take care of her father when his health declined. After her father’s death she stayed with her Mom and three months later her Mom fell. Her injuries were such that she had to be moved to a nursing home where Vi visited her daily. There she just naturally reached out to help the other residents she had met; after all, she was there every day. A kind word and a smile go a long way. It seems that if there’s something that needs to be done Vi notices, does it herself if she can. If not, she finds someone who can. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree; I have a feeling her daughter Lucille has had a good teacher.  Thank you, Vi for sharing your time, talent and story!

March 2016 Spotlight ~  The Andover Senior Community Friends!
In 2015, we want you to know that memberships, donations and events made it possible to support a variety of exciting bus trips, three very successful Krystal Ballroom Dances at the Old Town Hall, we revived the “Boston Post Cane” tradition honoring Andover’s oldest resident, and we were able to use our 501(c)(3) status to submit, on behalf of The Center at Punchard, a successful application to the Commonwealth for a $10,000 mini-grant to fund The Center’s Memory Café program. We also provided hot hors d’oeuvres for The Center’s Volunteer Appreciation event, and flowers for the Holiday Fair. You, our members, made it all possible.

We are excited about a new year of activities and programs offered at The Center at Punchard and as always will be doing our best to provide funding to support current programs and develop new ones! We also are very grateful for the professional and talented staff we get to work with at The Center as well as the dedicated members of our own Board of Directors.

February 2016 Spotlight ~ Council on Aging Board

I’m often asked “Who is the Council on Aging”? “What do they do”? That question is somewhat of a challenge to answer. The state requires every community to have a Council on Aging who are responsible for identifying the needs of the senior residents in a community and ways to address those needs. In Andover, the “COA” is comprised of the Division of Elder Services staff who work at the Center at Punchard as well as the COA Advisory Board who are appointed by the Town Manager and are eyes and ears in the community to hear such concerns from their friends and neighbors. This collaboration results in programs that are planned, services provided and advocacy initiatives both locally as well as at the state and federal level. To find out more, we welcome your questions, comments and concerns.
Consider attending the monthly meeting, held at 8:00am on the 2nd Thursday of the month at the Center at Punchard.
COAB Members
          Margaret O'Connor                     

Vice Chair:   Kenneth DeBenedictis
Secretary:   Jane Gifun

Kathleen Devanna, RN         Joan Fox                             
Stuart McNeil
                      Joseph Ponti

Donald Robb                       Michael Roli

 November 2015 ~ Amelia Misenti ~ Andover's Oldest Resident 

andover boston cane sm

Amelia D. Misenti was recently honored as Andover’s oldest resident by the Andover Senior Community Friends at their Dinner Dance on October 2, 2015 . Born in 1911, Amy grew up in Lawrence and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1929 during the depression. When she retired at age 70, she moved to the Andover Commons apartment complex where she still lives. If you did the math, you already know she’s now 104! As part of the celebration Amy was presented with the Boston Post cane which was borrowed for the ceremony from it’s safe keeping in a display case in the Town Clerk’sOffice. The tradition of presenting the ebony cane with a golden knob was begun in 1909. At that time the Boston Post newspaper had given canes to 700 towns throughout New England to be presented to the oldest resident. Today, there are 475 that are known to exist, although there may still be a few in someone’s attic. Andover’s cane was found tucked safely in the back of the Town’s vault before being mounted in it’s display case.

October 2015 Spotlight ~ Author Champa Bilwakesh

In October we highlight Desire of the Moth. The author, Champa Bilwakesh, was born in India. She earned her MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Her story "The Boston Globe Personal Line" was published by Kenyon Review in the fall of 2005. It won honorable mention in the Pushcart Prize XXXI. Her other works have won prizes as well. She lives in Andover, Massachusetts, where she produces TV shows for the community channel.

Novel Desire of the MothIn the novel, a fifteen-year-old widow runs across a bridge to catch a train bound for Trichi. Thus begins Sowmya's transformation in the city by the sea, Madras, which is in the grip of its own political and social changes while India is struggling to seize its independence from the imperial British raj. Here she learns the beauty of dance from Mallika, and the sweetness and agony of falling in love with a married man. The cinema brings unimagined opportunities and all the power and riches that she could desire, but it also consumes her relentlessly. From Amazon: “This book is a literary masterpiece – but not in a dull, preachy, high-brow way. It has all the appeal of a cool movie like Footloose (dare to dance and face the consequences) but with the importance of a classic, timeless novel. Bilwakesh has managed to write a novel with such attention to literary detail, precision of language, and historical significance that you almost forget while you are reading it that the plot is spellbinding, surprising, and relatable”. Watch for the date to "Meet the Author”.
Desire of the Moth is available to order from the Andover Book and Barnes &

Did You Know?
Shining Star Award  
The Council on Aging established the Shining Star Award in 2005 to honor a person each year for extraordinary service on behalf of the seniors of Andover. The Council is now soliciting nominations for the 2016 award. Individuals other than staff are eligible and can be nominated by anyone. The Council will decide the winner and present this year’s Award at the Annual Volunteers’ Reception. Forms are available in the lobby of The Center at Punchard.

And the Winner was ... Ann Grecoe, outgoing President of the COAB (Council on Aging Board) for Andover! Thanks for all your time and devotion to Andover and the Center at Punchard!
Note: The Volunteer Reception was held on May 6, 11:3-1:30pm at the Cormier Youth Center. Terrific turnout, tours and a warm welcome by Bill Fahey, Director of Andover Youth Services.  

The Andover Chroniclers
Watch Andover's Award Winning TV Show, "There is Something About Andover," a 30 minute TV show  features stories of interest to all Andover residents airing on local access TV. Sponsored by The Center at Punchard and produced by The Andover Chroniclers, a group of local volunteers, the goal of the progam is to inform, enlighten and entertain. The content is selected, developed, taped, and edited for broadcast by the group. We welcome new members. You do not need prior experience, only enthusiasm to learn something new! Please contact us at The Center at Punchard. The subject line will be "Skip Wilkins", our program coordinator.   
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at 9:00 am
Wednesday and Saturday at 7:00 PM Friday at 6:30 pm
Comcast – Channel 8
Verizon – Channel 47
Past Show Links  
Year 2015
March: The ABC Program / Senior Center Open House
February: The Other Andovers/ Your Center at Punchard
January 2015: The Agony and Ecstacy of Downsizing

Council on Aging
These past two years have been exciting ones for the Council on Aging. We worked with the University of Massachusetts, Boston to do a needs assessment survey of residents age 50+. It became clear that a major concern of citizens over age 50 is their ability to remain in town. A number of areas from the report were singled out in regard to their concerns and have been addressed by the board.
*Tax relief: A subcommittee worked on a warrant article which the board presented to Town Meeting; it passed and is now  working its way through the legislative process to offer property tax relief to seniors over age 70.
*Senior Housing in the downtown area: A subcommittee is working to present an overlay district of smaller homes at this year’s Town Meeting.
*Public transportation: A subcommittee is working with the local transit authority to fill gaps, which were noted in the report.

Council on Aging Mandate
Town Meeting, Article 35, March 12, 1966
The general purposes and functions of this Council shall be:
    •Identify the total needs of the community’s elderly population.
    •Educate the community and enlist support and participation of all citizens these needs.
    •Design, promote or implement services to fill these needs, or to coordinate existing services in the community.
    •Promote and support any other programs which are designed to assist elderly in the community.
    •Enlist and develop capable volunteers and professional leadership for the purposes stated in the Article.

The COA Advisory Board members, who are appointed by the Town Manager, are the eyes and ears in the community to hear concerns from their friends and neighbors. This collaboration results in programs that are planned, services provided and advocacy initiatives. The board has four positions open this year. If you would like to be a part of the changes that are still to come, please join us at a board meeting the second Thursday of the month at 8 am at The Center @ Punchard. Those interested in becoming Board members should fill out the Town Manager’s talent bank form which can be found on the town web site:  Andover Talent Bank Form .You may also contact any member of the Nominating Subcommittee by calling 978-623-8321 or by email: Joan Fox, KenDeBenedictis, Jane Gifun, as well as Annmary Connor, Director of Elder Services


Back to top