The Faribault Senior Center will dump their old name and beginning Tuesday will be Buckham West.  Senior Center Executive Director Mona Kaiser shared the news with KDHL/ POWER 96 today and said with the new addition to their building they thought the timing was right.  Kaiser says these days,  "For many people approaching our membership age of 50, being called a senior is definitely not acceptable.  And being a member of a center that is called a senior center is not attractive."

Kaiser says , "It's the baby boomers (folks born between 1946 and 1964) that are redefining what aging looks like and what it means to be a senior."  Many communities have taken the word senior out of their name.  The Faribault Senior Center Executive Director noted last spring a committee of Senior Center Board Members, a representative from the City Park and Recreation Department, and Buckham Library Director Delane James met to discuss a new name for the organization.

The committee decided the new name needed to reflect the location where the facility stands.  Attached to the Buckham Center on the west end, the new name that was voted on and approved by the board of directors was Buckham West.

Buckham Memorial Library Director Delane James reflected on the new name by saying, "Anna and Thomas Buckham were community builders and dedicated to empowering others.  A love of education, art, and civic engagement were important to this couple.  When Anna gave our community the beautiful library named for her beloved Thomas, I wonder if she would have imagined how that gift would evolve to become the vibrant focal point of life-long learning and community connection for Faribault. Buckham Center is the center of our community.  The new name for the Senior Center, Buckham West, continues to honor the legacy left to us by Anna and Thomas."

Kaiser says, "For a time we will be referring to our organization as Buckham West Senior Center. This is to allow people to gradually start hearing the new name.  But soon we will be leaving off the senior center portion, and only refer to this place with the new name.  We hope you will embrace the name change and understand, the many thoughts that went into this decision."

The Faribault Senior Center Executive Director also announced Buckham West has received a grant from the St. Paul-based Otto Bremer Trust in the amount of $100,000 to purchase and install a Hearing Loop in Buckham West's newly built conference room, fitness studio and reception center.

The loop will allow those with hearing challenges to participate in programming with audio transmitted to their hearing aids.  Kaiser pointed out Faribault has a large hearing impaired population with the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in the community.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, age-related hearing loss is "One of the most  the most common conditions affecting older adults. Approximately 1 int 3 people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than age 75 have difficulty hearing."

Buckham West Entrance in Faribault. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld