Brett Turner and his wife, Gina, own Grocery Outlet in La Pine, and he’s been a La Pine Activity Center board member since he was elected to the position in August of 2022.  
“I decided to run for the board of directors because I wanted to step up and give back to the community and help Jamie and the Activity Center.  Jamie has always been so supportive of my wife and I and our business in the past,” said Brett.
“We’ve given the Activity Center food and monetary donations since Grocery Outlet first opened in La Pine.  We’re big supporters of the Rhubarb Festival, as well.  In July we’re having a fund raiser called “Independence from Hunger”  where people donate or buy food baskets for those who are struggling to make ends meet, and we split the profits from that fund raiser with the Activity Center, the Christmas Basket Association, and St. Vincent de Paul.  Most grocery stores fund-raise during the holidays, but there are hungry people out there during the summer, too, so what we raise goes to help during that time.”
Brett believes the Activity Center is headed in a great direction right now.  
“It’s a very important facility for this community, and  I believe that this board of directors is doing a really good job.  The money we’ve recently raised for the new kitchen remodel is huge; we’re securing grants and the future is very bright”
Brett and Gina have lived in La Pine since December of 2016 after coming here from California’s Bay Area.
“My wife and I were both store managers at Safeway and when Albertsons bought them out, we didn’t care for the new operation, so Gina moved on to Bed, Bath and Beyond as store manager.  Then some friends told us about an opportunity to own a Grocery Outlet franchise.  This is a very family-oriented company and they like couples as co-managers, so we looked into it, started the training program, and when this store was going to open we decided to buy it. We opened La Pine’s first Grocery Outlet in February of 2017.”
“We love the pace of life here in La Pine.  Just being able to take a walk in the woods is so awesome. Life in the Bay Area was very fast and hectic, and there came a time when we realized we didn’t want that anymore.”
“We also love La Pine’s small town vibe.   When we first moved here strangers would wave at us and we were taken aback, until we got to know the town better and realized that people still wave to strangers here!  This community really pulls together when the time arises and we’re very impressed with that.”
“The Community Kitchen and St. Vincent de Paul organizations pick up food donations from us several times each week, so we’re here for this community and want to keep our dollars local. “ 


Debbie Kreps is the Monday front desk volunteer at the La Pine Activity Center, greeting those who walk through our doors and pointing them in the right direction for what they need
“I started out two years ago by volunteering at Bingo on Monday nights, and then just kind of worked into running the front desk,” says Debbie. “I usually just come in one morning per week, but I will fill in for others when needed.
Originally from Newberg, Oregon, she and her husband moved to La Pine a little over four years ago.
“I really like the climate in La Pine and we needed to get out of the city,” says Debbie. “We would come here camping every summer for about five years and one year we just decided that we didn’t want to go back home!”
Before retiring, Debbie worked in food service at George Fox University for 19 years, right up until the day before she moved to La Pine. Her husband, Ray, worked for Chrysler Corporation also for 19 years, and was retired for 10 years before they moved here. Now he is a substitute teacher in Gilchrist, La Pine and Bend.
“I love being here and meeting the people who walk through our doors,” says Debbie. “It’s nice to chat and get to know them and I’ve met some truly wonderful people here at the Center. “
Recently the La Pine Senior Center changed its name to the La Pine Activity Center, with the goal of promoting more exclusivity within the community. The Center is here to fill the needs of the whole community.
“From my experience working at George Fox University, I think it’s beneficial to have older people interacting with those much younger than themselves,” says Debbie. “Older people feel younger, more energized, when they’re around those younger than themselves. I think the mixture of seniors and younger people benefits them both. There’s so much more opportunity having this place be an “activity center” because it draws more people from our community in, and if a senior needs help, there are younger folks who can help them out; conversely, younger people can learn from their elder’s wisdom. It’s a win-win for both groups.”
“This Activity Center is an excellent place to come for an exercise class, have lunch three days a week and visit with people, and just get OUT. In the winter, people come here and get warm, sit, relax, read or watch the fire in the ‘living room” we have in the front of the building. It’s a great landing spot.”

Director’s Corner June 2023

It’s already June and that means Rhubarb Festival time! Volunteers in all areas are needed, so please contact me if you would like to help. We are already getting requests from local business to become sponsors in 2024, and have a waiting list of 10 or 11 vendors for this year because we’re full for vendor space!
Check our website and Facebook page in the near future for the dates and times of our Healthy Walking classes, which will be starting up again now that the weather is nice.
We need bingo callers! We only have one right now, so ladies, if you want to get your husband out of the house once a week, send him over here on Monday nights one or two times a month!
Our “Angel Wings” scholarship program has been going on for a couple of years now. If someone comes in the Center and they don’t have the funds to pay the $40 yearly membership fee, we have “Angel Wings” scholarships available so they can become an Activity Center member for a year at no cost. But we need more sponsors for this wonderful program, from individuals and businesses. I have received calls from mental health services who refer individuals to us that are suffering from isolation or loneliness, and they need a place for these people to go where they can interact with others and feel safe. We just awarded an Angel Wing scholarship the other day and this person has come into the center and has signed up to be a volunteer. She now feels like she’s part of something. So if you would like to become an Angel Wings sponsor, please let us know…there’s someone out there (and they don’t have to be a senior, by the way) who would really appreciate becoming part of our family! This is a confidential program and no one will know who is a recipient of this scholarship except for the person who receives it.
A big part of my job is to be an intermediary of sorts, connecting those in need to the resources that can help them. We’ve had people come in here who can’t pay their electricity bill, for example, and I’ve put them in contact with NeighborImpact, and they’ve gotten the assistance they needed. Or someone comes in here and says they’re a victim of a scam of some sort, so we help them contact the appropriate authorities. Seniors or not, we’re here to help those in our community who need help the most.
So why do YOU come to the Activity Center? What do you like most about what we offer? I just received a 100-piece blank puzzle with very large pieces that you can write a word on that reflects why you come here. We’re going to have people fill those pieces out, then glue them together and make a wall hanging that shows all the different reasons to come here. Keep a lookout for that in the near future!
Make sure to take advantage of the free presentations we hold during lunch occasionally. We now have a calendar listing a whole month of lunches at the Center (see page 3 of this newsletter) that shows which lunches have a presentation.
That’s it for now — see you at the Rhubarb Festival!

Director’s Corner May 2023

We’re gearing up for the Rhubarb Festival which will be held June 17 and 18 here at the Center. It’s our biggest event of the year, here’s an update of what’s been happening with this event:
We need volunteers to help make Granny Pies for the Rhubarb Festival. We have about 900 pies ready so far, but we usually have about 1200 for sale, so there’s still a lot of work to be done. Connie Burger and others are helping to finish out the year.
Sina Wallace Streeter donated two cases of the BIG cans of Crisco, which were badly needed. Thanks Sina!
This year’s Rhubarb Festival sponsors include: St. Charles: dessert contest; La Pine Community Health Center: entertainment; First Interstate Bank of Sunriver: rhubarb pies; MidOregon Credit Union: golf carts; Terry Mowry is organizing the entertainment; Dan Laibath keeps those beer kegs organized; Rusty Hoar takes care of security during the day; Denise and Dennis Sampson actually tape out our parking lot for vendor spaces; and Janice Delzer is in charge of coordinating all the vendors. We are FULL as far as vendor spaces, with 106, and 30 new ones this year!
NEW this year as a Rhubarb Festival sponsor is HD Botanicals! And they’re very interested in doing monthly informational sessions before or after lunch to speak about the benefits of cannabis for seniors.
We’re having pre-sales for rhubarb pies and T-shirts, so please give us a call starting this month to pre-order yours.
On to other news:

  • If you need a medical device (wheelchair, walker, etc.) check here FIRST before going to rent or buy one. We have items you can either have for free or rent (such as knee scooters). Just give us a call – we have lots of medical supplies you may be able to get for FREE.
  • We need volunteers to help deliver lunches to homebound seniors three times a week. Also needed are volunteers for the kitchen, front desk and events.
  • Volunteers for Monday Bingo caller once or twice a month are also needed.
  • Although Heart & Home Hospice has closed in La Pine, Partners In Care still has a presence serving the La Pine community with hospice, home health, palliative care, and transitions (non-medical, free resource-based program). They have a small office on Huntington Road not far from the Park & Rec building, but most of their team is out visiting patients in their homes throughout La Pine, so the office may be quiet. They work closely with the La Pine Activity Center! If you need them, call 541-382-5882.
  • Get your stuff organized for our annual community-wide garage sale July 7 and 8, to be held here at the Center.
    Lastly, I want to recognize Annette Langenstein, who produces our monthly newsletter. Annette is a graphic designer and writer who volunteers her time to sell and design the ads, write the articles, and lay out the newsletter each month. These sponsorship ads bring in much-needed funds, and with the closing of Wise Buys, this newsletter is more important than ever to our little community! Thanks, Annette, for all you do for us!

Christine Dishaw, Board Treasure & Bookkeeper

Christine Dishaw works at the La Pine Activity Center as their bookkeeper, paying the bills and doing banking duties, but she also acts as the Center’s Treasurer, attending board meetings and giving a report each month.
“Four years ago, a good friend wrote to me and asked if I’d like to help out at the La Pine Senior Center, and here I am today,” says Christine. “I really enjoy being here and the people are so wonderful. I usually work about 50 hours a month, sometimes only coming in one day a week, but most weeks I’m here for two days or more.”
Christine had a career as an accountant for many years while living in Los Angeles, until she and her husband moved to Sunriver about seven years ago.
“We used to vacation in Sunriver a lot because it was a central location for our family, so for about 15 years we would come here for various reasons. We have a daughter in Beaverton and one in Atlanta, Georgia, and the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids visit us here.”
“It’s nice working here because although I’m retired, this gives me something to do; I look forward to coming here each week. I like being here because it keeps me engaged in the community. I walk and hike a lot and I’m really looking forward to getting to the Fall River and Paulina areas now that spring is here. We have about 33 miles of bike paths in Sunriver that are safe and great to walk on with my big dog, so I love living there. It can get pretty busy in the summer, and winters can be very quiet, but we live in a really nice neighborhood with friendly people.”
Christine’s husband, Dennis, is a loan broker and at almost 82 is still working from their home, running his own business. He does apartment, industrial and commercial work.
“We have an amazing number of very generous people in this community, very giving,” says Christine. “As bookkeeper, I see the donations that come in. During the COVID pandemic, we had people donating their stimulus checks to us, if you can believe it. We have several extremely kind, generous people in the community who don’t want their name attached to their donations; that’s not why they’re donating. They just see a need here and enjoy helping us out.”
“Our Executive Director, Jamie is an amazing person, with lots of things constantly on her plate, and we’ve had some really terrific people stepping up and helping her out. She’s hard to turn down when asking for volunteers or donations!”
Christine continued, “If somebody shows an interest in some type of event, say knitting, and they have enough people that our interested, we’ll accommodate them here. They’ll have a place to meet. Right now we’re asking if anyone wants to start a book club; as an avid reader, I think that would be great!”

Director’s Corner April 2023

Happy Spring! The Activity Center has been busy with lots of classes and events, and we’re getting ready for more in the next dew months!
We have almost ALL our vendor slots filled for the upcoming Rhubarb Festival June 17 and 18! We’ll need just a few more and then we’ll have 100+ vendor booths with many new items such as handmade crystal products, wood/rock art, rye-dye, Sunriver Art Glass, and one of the 20 new vendors this year is 503 Distilling from Portland, who are going to be selling a rhubarb/whiskey cocktail. Yum!
Food trucks at the Rhubarb Festival will include Auntie Bernie’s Hawaiian Grill, The Corn Dog Company of Central Oregon, Kona Ice of Bend, Red Beard BBQ, Pop-N-Hot Kettle Corn, and Supreme Elephant Ears Funnel Cakes.
And the kiddos won’t be left out because we’ll have a bouncy house and face painting, so this is a festival for all ages!
In other news, we just received a $25,000 grant from the Ford Foundation for our upcoming kitchen remodel, planned for this September. So exciting!
New classes starting in April include a soap making class and a chalk class. In fact, these and other classes have proved so popular that we’re planning a multi-workshop weekend featuring classes in painting, jewelry-making, leather, chalk…hopefully in September of this year.
The Deschutes County Planning Department will be here on April 26 to present to the public what kind of developments are planned for La Pine. Bring your questions!
We’ll also have a free Covid vaccine clinic on April 3.
St. Charles Health Systems has been presenting some great informational sessions like the Wound Care class held in March. On April 4 they’ll present another one on Community Care, and on April 11 a class about transfer and gait.
On April 13, First Interstate Bank will have a “Fraud and Seniors” class. All these are free classes! No registration required, just show up! And if you attend one of these classes, please let us know what you think so we can plan more in the future!
I would like to address an issue that many people may not be aware of: who is going to take care of you when you get on in years?
Last night I got a phone call from a friend who knows someone who had just gone into hospice care and her home caregiver had persuaded her to sign over all her assets, including her house, to that caregiver. We need to protect our seniors…especially those who have no voice.
If you know a senior that’s struggling, please let us know and we’ll find a way to help them. There are a lot of resources out there and we can connect seniors with those resources.
That’s it for now, got to get busy with all that’s happening at the La Pine Activity Center!

Jean Marable · Queen Quilter

Jean Marable has been making quilts since La Pine started its first senior center, about 40 years ago. And at 90 years old, she is one of just a few people who meet every Wednesday and Thursday at 7 am and stay until noon making the beautiful items.
“We used to have two or three quilts going at the same time, but a lot of our quilters have passed away, or they’re snowbirds, etc., so it’s down to just a few of us“ says Jean.
The Activity Center quilters would love to have more people join them, because quilting is in danger of becoming a lost art.
“Today both parents work and there’s just not enough time to engage in this art,” says Jean, “but I think we do a remarkable job of quilting and make some gorgeous quilts. We accept fabric squares and make quilts from them, putting sashing in between the squares and add batting and a backing, then finish it up by binding everything together.”
Jean and her husband have lived in La Pine about 45 years and two of their sons still live here.
“We sell or raffle off these quilts and the money goes to the Activity Center,” says Jean, “so it’s a win for everybody!”

Zee Birthday Celebration (Celebration of Life)

Many of you knew Zee Gallagher, who celebrated her 100th birthday a couple of years ago during Covid.
Zee passed away not too long ago after her birthday, and family & friends were never able to officially celebrate the event.
Please come join us on
Tuesday, April 4th @ 11-12 pm at the
La Pine Activity Center, where we will celebrate Zee in style!
She loved pie & coffee!
$5 for 60+ • anyone else $6
Zee was our oldest volunteer!