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DeFinis Welcomes Norwalk's Seniors 'Home'

For a quarter century, Dot DeFinis worked as a travel agent, sending people around the world. Now, she welcomes them home.

DeFinis volunteers at the front desk of the Norwalk Senior Center , the city's Allen Road community facility for its older citizens. "The opportunities and programs there are almost limitless," says DeFinis. She cites recent tax and legal advice sessions as only a small part of what the center does. "There are exercise classes, AARP comes in and does driver education," she continued. "And transportation is provided if people can't drive themselves."

What's kept DeFinis coming back for a dozen years, though, is the sense of community at the center. "You'll see someone come in by themselves, they'll start playing cards or talking, and before they know it they're part of a group."

That group feeling is enhanced on the many day trips the center sponsors. That's where DeFinis' experience as a travel agent comes in handy. "We've gone to Tanglewood, taken a fall foliage cruise on the Connecticut River and gone into the city to see Broadway plays and the Christmas show at Radio City," she says. "It's nice having someone else drive and worry about parking."

The Senior Center has been providing activities for four decades. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, a celebration will be held at the Dolce Center in West Norwalk from 7 to 11 p.m. May 13. Gala proceeds will go to support the center's many programs as well as Meals On Wheels, which is also headquartered in the Allen Street building.

"There are a lot of volunteers who make things go," says DeFinis. "But this is just a really special place."

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