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Senior center manager happy with no down time
By PAT JENKINS
After 30 years in the Army and a career as a Port of Seattle security manager, Harry Schreiber knew he wouldnt be happy glued to the living room couch after retiring in 1993.
Not long after that, he agreed to become the unpaid manager of the Federal Way Senior Center for six months ÐÐ a hitch that stretched to six years and counting.
I couldnt sit around all day. I like to stay busy, said Schreiber, 72, who oversees the centers programs, balances its shoestring budget and is a confidant for center regulars who come to him for advice on personal matters. And he does it without a salary. His job is totally voluntary.
The dedication earned him an Everyday Hero Award from the Greater Federal Way Kiwanis Club. Among his admirers at the Sept. 17 meeting at Cocos restaurant where he received the honor was Lloyd Gardner, a member of a different club but in agreement with his fellow Kiwanians that Schreibers contributions are invaluable.
Its amazing, everything that goes on at the senior center, Gardner said.
The centers programs include exercise routines, computer classes, a daycare for people showing early signs of Alzheimers disease, a food bank and myriad social occasions. An Oktoberfest celebration is planned for Oct. 5, and Ill be the cook, said Schreiber.
The food will be authenic, since Schreiber is a Berlin native. He speaks with a German accent, but he thinks in red, white and blue.
America has been good to me. Im trying to repay it, he said.
The senior centers budget (Ive got to watch every penny) depends on an annual $25,000 infusion from King County and donations from community organizations such as Kiwanis and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. The latter is installing a new floor for the center, Schreiber said.
Located at 4016 S. 352nd St., just outside Federal Ways city limits, the center (838-3604) is a mecca for widows whose tiny monthly incomes are supplemented by the free lunches, pinochle players and morning kibitzers.
There are different groups that come and go the whole day, said Schreiber, who enjoys them all.
I like what Im doing, and Ill do it a little longer, he said.
Editor Pat Jenkins can be reached at 925-5565 and firstname.lastname@example.org