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Collins to head senior center

Arline June Gordon, Tribune correspondent
Provided to the TribuneJohn Collins is returning as the director at the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center.
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John Collins is a very interesting, pleasant man. I found him easy to talk to. Although Collins said his formal title is recreation supervisor, he will function as the director of the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center.

He is the person seniors and other will go to when they want a special program, schedule an event or have questions about the facilities. Also, he will help solve any problems that may arise as well as perform many other functions for the benefit of seniors and others in the community. Collins said that he didn’t want to change things arbitrarily. He wants to get to know the seniors and others who use the center and find out what has worked for them in the past. The Senior/Community Center, as it has been dubbed by many, is used by community and private groups for meetings, classes, anniversary and birthday parties and other special events.

The new director brings a great deal of experience with him — very much like Gary Moore, who after 11 years at the senior center, is now the supervisor of the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena. Collins graduated from California State College, Sacramento with a degree in recreation and went immediately to his first job as senior recreation leader in 1979 for the city of South Lake Tahoe Recreation Department. His first responsibility was in charge of the aquatic program. Next, he was in charge of the youth and teen program, which included the Saturday recreation program and the teen dances, and later he handled facility rentals at the recreation complex. He scheduled city programs and meetings as well as private parties such as weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties. He coordinated the instructors who contracted to teach classes at the recreation complex and prepared a brochure for activities run by the recreation department.

Collins was the first director of the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center when it first opened. After two years he was in charge of adult sports at the recreation complex. After spending 23 years with the recreation complex, when Collins learned the city was looking for someone to be in charge of the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center, he volunteered because he wanted to work with seniors.

Collins’ wife, Kari, is a registered nurse who works as director of surgical services at Barton Memorial Hospital. Their daughter, Kristi, is attending California State College, Fresno on a swimming scholarship, and their son, Kory, is a junior at South Tahoe High School, where he plays football with the South Tahoe Vikings. Collins enjoys the outdoors and likes to hit the trails on weekend getaways.

Collins said that he is looking forward to working at the senior center, developing new projects and getting more people involved. He sees familiar faces he knew when he was there before and his door is always open. He enjoys meeting new people and attracting new members to the the organization. Collins feels there is something for everyone at the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center. If not, he wants people to let him know and “we’ll try to make it work.” He wants people to drop in and say “hello”.


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