Claymore Senior Center, Inc. is dedicated to providing a wide range of programs to meet social, recreational, physical wellness, and the educational needs of our members. We strive to maintain an environment that enhances quality of life, encourages personal development, and promotes mutual respect for all.
We extend a cordial invitation to everyone over 50+ years without regard to race, color, handicap or national origin to join us at Claymore Senior Center, Inc.
In 1974, a group of senior citizens attempted to meet informally and enjoy each other's company. To acquire a meeting place, Mary Matyniak, a newly-elected Parish Council member, asked the Rev. Thomas Gardocki, Pastor of St. Hedwig's Church, and the Parish Council for permission to form the St. Hedwig's "Young at Heart" group, and to meet at the St. Hedwig's Parish Hall to enjoy Bingo, card games, and camaraderie of their peers. With the help of dedicated volunteers, it quickly became evident that the seniors were in need of daily programs of basic sound nutrition, as well as recreation.
With the permission of Rev. Gardocki and the help of Rep. Cas Jonkiert, extensive renovations were completed in the basement of the Church. In 1975, Rep. Jonkiert was successful in obtaining funds toward the Nutrition Program, "Serve", which was administered by the Wilmington Senior Center. With the help of Helen Gawinski and many volunteers, the Center's Nutrition and Recreation Programs became a reality.
Informal social gatherings led to structural Art & Craft classes, Choral group, and others. The Center's Volunteer Program was initiated through the efforts of Theresa Jonkiert, a volunteer.
On August 16, 1978, St. Hedwig's Senior Center was incorporated as a multi¬purpose, non-profit organization at 400 S. Harrison St., operating from the basement of St. Hedwig's Church. The first members of the Board of Directors were: Hattie Burke, Jean Dabkowski, Casimir Jonkiert, Theresa Jonkiert, John Markowski, Helen Meadows, and John Slank. The first Executive Director was Mary Matyniak.
As the Center expanded its services to meet the growing demand, this facility became inadequate. On July 10, 1980, the Senior Center began utilizing the basement provided in St. Hedwig's Convent at 1112 Elm Street.. For comfort and convenience, the basement was converted into 4 rooms with extensive renovations.
By 1984, it became apparent that a new site was needed, if services were to be maintained at the existing level. Negotiations were begun with the assistance of Rep. Jonkiert and the City of Wilmington for the property at 504 S. Clayton St. The 3-story building was unoccupied and in a state of substantial disrepair. Extensive interior and exterior renovations were required before the Center began operating at the Clayton Street facility on February 13, 1989.
Thanks to the fund-raising assistance of many dedicated seniors and other individuals, foundations, government agencies and businesses, the new location became a reality. The new addition contains the large dining room, new section of the kitchen, and lower level Exercise and Craft rooms. Opening of the new section was celebrated in 1993. The exercise program, supervised by Cardio-Kinetics under contract with the Division of Aging, has proven itself successful. The name, St. Hedwig Senior Center, was changed to Claymore Senior Center in 1994 at the request of Rev. Joseph Piekarski, pastor of St. Hedwig's Church.
The patience, generosity, and hard work of all involved with the Center, too numerous to name all, has a dramatic effect on the Community it serves. Today our center continues to grow and expand, offering new programs and innovative ideas. Claymore, the best kept secret in Wilmington, is an Adult Recreational Center for the Young at Heart!!
On August 16th 2013 we will celebrate our 35th Anniversary.