Senior center coordinator enjoys Morton Grove’s sense of place
Loretta Pable, program coordinator at the North Shore Senior Center, talks with seniors at the center October 23, 2012. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
For more information on the senior center call 847-470-5223or visit the North Shore Senior Center web site at
The site, Pable noted, was updated earlier this year and now allows members to register and pay for programs online. The Morton Grove center at 6140 Dempster St. will hold a three-hour session beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 3 to teach members how to use the new online services.
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:10AM
Loretta Pable enjoys spending her time with senior citizens – kind of a good thing given her job as site coordinator for the Morton Grove location of the North Shore Senior Center.
“I like the people and putting together programs that people really enjoy. I have a lot of fun here,” Pable said. “There are some amazing people here.”
Pable took over the post in June 2011, about a year after the Northfield-based North Shore Senior Center took over senior services in Morton Grove.
The agreement kept the center, located in the American Legion Memorial Civic Center, open while saving the village about $200,000 a year.
In many ways, Pable was perfect for the job.
She holds a master’s degree in gerontology. She worked as a contractor with the U.S. Navy to administer drug and alcohol programs and was manager of senior services for Waukegan Township.
“It’s my great love and passion to have great programs available for seniors,” Pable said. “I grew up with grandparents and a lot of older adults. I enjoy their history and stories.”
Pable said that although some seniors come from neighboring communities, such as Niles and Skokie, those towns offer their own senior services. As a result most members of the Morton Grove center are from Morton Grove.
The North Shore Senior Center provides programming in Morton Grove through an allocation from the organization’s $8-million budget. Annual membership dues – which range from $15 for an individual resident to $40 for a nonresident couple – also help support the costs.
Pable noted that the center is privately funded and does not receive state or federal financial assistance.
She said she tries to come up with programs that will keep seniors interested and engaged. Among the kinds of classes that are popular, Pable cited fitness programs as well as history and pop culture classes.
The center recently launched a new art program, Introduction to Drawing, which Pable said “is going really well.”
“Pop culture types of things are very big,” Pable said. “Fitness programs fill up instantly.”
The Community Nutrition Network had run a lunch program at the center for several years. However, when that program lost funding Pable came up with a weekly lunch and bingo activity.
She has worked with local restaurants and caterers to provide the food, which she said is quite a bit better than what the earlier program offered.
“It’s been popular,” said Pable, who noted that between 25 and 35 people usually come for the lunch program.
One of the things that appeals to Pable about the Morton Grove location is what she sees as the sense of community village residents seem to have.
“The Morton Grove folks have a real sense of place. It’s a very distinct sense of place here,” she said. “I like that.”