On September 27, 1966, the Reverend Harry Eid met with 8 people at the local Methodist church to discuss the formation of a "senior group" for the Town of Winchester. At their second meeting in October of that year, there were 28 people in attendance. In 1974, the State of Connecticut Department on Aging award the Town a grant to operate a senior center and the Winsted Senior Center opened at the St. Andrews Lodge Masonic Home on Wheeler St. Blanche McCarthy was hired by the Town as the first Director. The Center remained at St. Andrews until 1983, when Mrs. McCarthy secured grant monies to purchase and renovate the Garibaldi Hall on the corner of Holabird Avenue and Chestnut Street. In honor of the woman whose efforts secured the new site, the building was named the Blanche McCarthy Winsted Senior Center. In 1998, Blanche McCarthy (now Sewell) retired and Ellen Schroeder was named the second Director.
Over the years, the Blanche McCarthy Winsted Senior Center's mission has evolved to provide educational, recreational, and cultural activities, assistance with medical insurance, health clinics, daily lunches, van transportation, travel opportunities, and intergenerational programs.
The Center Director is also the Town's delegated Municipal Agent for the Elderly. As such, she processes rent rebate applications, makes referrals for services not available at the Center, and assists with filling out forms for supplemental insurance, Medicare Part D, food stamps, Medicare Savings Program, etc. Seniors must make an appointment with the Director for assistance.
Anyone over the age of 55 who wishes to join the senior club may do so by paying dues of $5 per year. The dues help to support social activities of the Center. Members of the club receive a discount when purchasing tickets for events.
The Center publishes a monthly newsletter, which may be picked up at the Center or may be mailed out at a cost of $6 per year. The newsletter lists all upcoming activities, programs and trips. The newsletter is also available at www.ourseniorcenter.com. Enter "winsted senior center" near "winsted ct". You may read current and previous editions of the newsletter.