SHIRLEY -- The Senior Center on Parker Road will stay open, with no reduction in hours, selectmen Chairman Kendra Dumont said Monday night.

Although there's currently no Council On Aging director in charge of the building, one of the COA board members, Ann Towne, has volunteered to take over those operations for now, she said.

Some folks have expressed concerns that the Senior Center might be shut down or be open less now that former director John Oelfke has retired and with no new hire to take his place, Dumont said. But the selectmen have no plans to close the center or reduce its hours.

Towne will work closely with Town Administrator Patrice Garvin to ensure all the bases are covered so that the Senior Center operates smoothly, she said.

Oelfke, who has held the post since it was created about five years ago, stepped down Feb. 1, having submitted his resignation to the selectmen several weeks before.

Meanwhile, the selectmen have advertised for the part-time director's position and have received "a couple" of applications so far, Garvin said. She plans to meet with the COA on Tuesday to talk about the job description.

Valentine dance to benefit local woman with cancer

The selectmen granted a one-day liquor license for the Valentine Family Dance, to be held at Center Town Hall on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 6-9 p.m.

This year, the event will be a special fundraiser to benefit "Helping Hand for Heather Morris," Selectman David Swain said.


Heather is a Shirley resident battling stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her liver, he said.

In previous years, proceeds from the annual fundraiser were split between the Center Town Hall and Historic Meetinghouse committees that maintain the two historic buildings. But Swain said the two groups agreed this year to use the proceeds to help the Morris family instead, "to assist with medical bills."

As usual, it promises to be a good time, he said, with DJ Bob Wright, of Groton, spinning platters and refreshments served by the Bull Run Restaurant. And it's a family affair, with all ages welcome. Although beer and wine will be available for adults, there will be soft drinks on hand for the younger set, Swain said.