WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2017/2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/897427

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Page 89 of 195

just as people need a home, organizations also need a place to "hang their hats." For 40 years now, a diverse mix of clubs, leagues, societ- ies, foundations, guilds, and committees have found a home at Wellesley Community Center. Drive too fast and the non-descript brick building on 219 Washington Street can escape the untrained eye. But for the people who have wanted to further their civic connection to the town — or just wanted to have fun or learn something new — the Community Center has been, as its slogan goes, "the place where Wellesley meets." Wellesley nearly didn't have this meeting place, but after years of fits and starts, residents Joe Grignaffini and Charlie Hoffman were deter- mined to build a place where youths, senior citizens, and anyone else could gather. They got a lot of help — most crucially from the property owner, Wellesley Friendly Aid — and actually started construction despite having raised only half of the necessary funds. Forty years later, the center continues to open its doors to all types of organizations. More than 30 organizations use Wellesley Community Center in some form or fashion. But by the end of this year, a longtime presence there, the Council on Aging, will move its offices and programs to the new Tolles-Parsons Senior Center. Seniors have been such a key part of the Community Center's history that it's hard to imagine Wellesley's meeting place existing without this active constituency. But that's a future the Community Center's leaders are trying not to imagine. Instead, they're building on recent successes with local arts programs to serve as a springboard for the years beyond 40. They believe there are enough civic interests in the community to keep the center thriving. The Place Where Wellesley Meets A L B E R T M C K E O N writer M I C K E Y G O L D I N photographer Wellesley Community Center 88 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8

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