History of Buchanan Area Senior Center
Happy, Active, Living
Buchanan Area Senior Center (formerly Buchanan Senior Services) provided services to area seniors from 1977 to 1984, funded by the City of Buchanan, Buchanan Township and donations. In March of 1982 the building, funded by HUD money, at 131 South Oak Street, was completed and dedicated by the city to be used for senior programming and community activities. Greater Niles-Buchanan Committee on Aging funded services and programs in Buchanan as a satellite program from 1984 to 2002. In October 2002 Buchanan Senior Services became a non-profit group that operated with private donations and Buchanan City support. In 2006 Buchanan Area Senior Center started receiving county millage tax support. In March 2010 we broke ground for the construction of our new building at 810 Rynearson Street in Buchanan. In December 2010 we moved into our new building. The Center continues operating with county millage money, donations, grants, fundraisers and many wonderful volunteers. Senior Nutrition continues to provide the daily nutrition program at the center.
Adam is a community and economic development professional who came to the BASC in January 2019, after spending much of his career in Chicago and a few years in West Africa. He is happy to share stories of his many adventures! He focuses on building coalitions and project teams, advocating for policies, leveraging resources to implement goals and visions, prioritizing sustainable development practices, and improving management processes and tools. He loves his work at the BASC and gains much satisfaction serving the elders in our community. Adam also serves on the State Advisory Council on Aging and on the Board of Directors of One Buchanan, a City of Buchanan Board focused on creating an inclusive community that values and celebrates our diversity. In his free time he loves to go on hikes, garden, travel and visit the beautiful sites in Southwest Michigan.
Working at the BASC is even better than Diana could have ever imagined! She loves to sit with the patrons and have conversations, to share hugs, and to encourage everyone. Diana is the Program Coordinator which gives her the opportunity to bring in programs that offer educational information, physical exercise, socialization, and overall well-being. Each day, Diana’s intention is to bring kindness and joy to all her friends at the center; develop relationships with the patrons along with local organizations and businesses; and offer programs that are fun, interesting, and promotes a ‘Happy, Active, Living’ lifestyle. In her free time you can find her sitting next to a campfire enjoying the outdoors, walking in the woods, and spending time with loved ones.
Office Manager/Elder Care
Jayme grew up in Galien and currently lives in Edwardsburg. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, Haylee and Eli; watching NFL football; cooking and baking. She came to the BASC in September, 2021, and is enjoying working within a wonderful community of people.
Tammy grew up in New Troy, but has lived and worked in the Buchanan area since she was sixteen. She is currently enjoying working at the BASC as an Administrative Assistant. After spending a few years at home taking care of her family, she is excited to be reconnecting with the community. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband of 41 years, Jack, her daughter Molly, son, Mack and daughter-in-law, Erin and two grandchildren, Lily and Emmett. She loves working outside in her butterfly garden, doing photography and fishing on the St. Joseph River.
Terry was born in Plainwell, Michigan, and then moved to Texas and lived in Amarillo and Nacogdoches and graduated high school as a Nacogdoches Golden Dragon! Terry then joined the carnival circuit for a year showing 4 animals and then followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the navy and served in Desert Storm/Desert Shield from 1990-91. He then moved back to Buchanan and volunteered at the BASC for a year and then was hired as part of the team as staff assistant and medical transportation driver. He loves his work and has much fun with the patrons of the BASC.
SNS Site Manager
Kerri Pettie is the BASC Site Manager for Senior Nutrition Services/Meals on Wheels of Southwest Michigan. She has held the position for almost 8 years. Kerri was born and raised in Buchanan and is a Buchanan High School graduate. Kerri has an Associate’s degree from Lake Michigan College. Kerri now lives in Niles. She enjoys spending time with her family.
Lizz Carmichael, is from Niles, MI and began working as a fitness instructor in 2015. Her journey at the BASC also began that same year, in 2015. She loves being a fitness instructor because of the positive environment and how sharing the energy of working out in a group helps build each other up. Lizz’s goal is to help others achieve their personal fitness goals and to have a positive impact on their lives through building a relationship. Lizz has certifications in Group X, Lives Strong, Enhanced Fitness, POUND Fitness, plus more. She is also stays busy being a mother of four children. Lizz instructs Chair Exercise on Fridays at 10:00 am.
Zumba, Low-Impact, Chair Fitness
Cecilia B. Cheney
Cecilia B. Cheney, aka Cecil or “CC” lives in Niles, Michigan and has been a fitness instructor since 2011. She started to teach Chair Exercise at the BASC in 2014. “CC” loves teaching at the BASC and brings uplifting energy to her classes. She also loves to teach a low impact Zumba class at the BASC, which is a fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves, which help improve cardiovascular fitness. “CC” loves to see her students healthy and happy. Her goal is to improve one’s health, build strong muscles to be able to keep moving and reduce the risk of developing several diseases. “CC” is currently teaching Zumba Low-Impact on Mondays at 11:00 am and Chair Exercise on Wednesday’s at 10:15 am.
Ulrike McCarty is the BASC Chair Yoga instructor and is the owner of River of Life Yoga and The Yoga Joint studio in Buchanan. Ulrike was born and raised in Germany, a hairstylist by trade when she met her husband, Greg McCarty, an US Army Solider. Together, they raised two children and run a successful family business. Throughout the years, Ulrike pursued her interests in the arts, physical activity and nourished her friendships. Through her discovery, yoga became a passion and she became a certified yoga teacher. She has taught yoga classes at local venues and has opened up her own yoga studio. Her motto is, “Change lives one breath at a time.” And her goal is to make yoga appealing and accessible to all. Ulrike is currently instructing Chair Yoga on Thursdays at 10:00 am.
Osteo Fit, PowerBeats, Trainer
Melissa Rodgers, lives in Niles, MI and is an ACE certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. In 2011, she began working in the fitness world and a few years later started instructing at the BASC. In 2021 she pushed herself to offer more fitness classes and received her personal training certification. Melissa’s has a passion for working with the senior community, she loves to help others get stronger and help with their fitness goals. She loves the feeling of excitement when she builds friendships with her clients and helps them with their life goals. Melissa is mother of two teenage daughters and a sweet dog. She also has a passion for photography and is a part-time portrait photographer. Melissa is currently instructing Osteo Fit for Life on Tuesdays at 9:00 am, Powerbeats on Fridays at 9:00 am, and offers personal training.
Linda VanOverberghe, grew up in Buchanan and her life took her to South Bend, Indiana. Linda was in her early thirties when she was asked to be an exercise instructor by the manager at the fitness center she worked out. Linda has been teaching exercise and line dancing for a couple of decades to all ages. Her favorite things about instructing are the people, being around others, and having fun together. In each of Linda’s classes, you will always hear laughter. She has three children, six grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. Linda instructs Chair Exercise on Mondays at 11:00 am.
Buchanan Meadows provides the monthly fasting blood sugar testing at the BASC. Buchanan Meadows is a full-service assisted living community. Our residents live life on their terms, surrounded by experienced, dedicated staff that offer personalized care with compassion. Whether you or your loved one needs around-the-clock care or help coping with memory-related disease, our years of experience and dedication make us the right choice.
The BASC partners with the Buckteens Committee to coordinate the annual Buckteens class reunion for Buchanan High School alumni. Buchanan H.S., alumni who graduated 40+ years ago are Buckteens and are invited to this very popular annual gathering.
BASC partners with the One Buchanan organization. One Buchanan’s Mission is to promote awareness of our rich diversity through education, activities, and programs that strengthen an inclusive community. Since 2018, the BASC has hosted the educational forums presented by One Buchanan that have included an Ageism Forum, a Black History Forum, two Mental Health Forums and a Native American Heritage Forum.
Mary Anne Penwell helps patrons with minor eyeglass adjustments and repairs on the third Thursday of each month from 9:30 – 10:30 am. She grew up in Dowagiac, MI and moved to Buchanan when she married her husband, Dave. They have one daughter and one grandson. Mary Anne worked for the local optometrists, Dr. Benedict, fixing glasses and managing the office for 36 years. Over the years she has enjoyed reading, playing the piano, and putting together puzzles.
Hearing Aid Checks
Dr. Michelle Ridenour
Dr. Michelle Ridenour has been serving patients at West Michigan Hearing Specialist since 2009. Prior to her employment at West Michigan Hearing Specialists, she received her Bachelor of Science degree at Ball State University in Speech-Language and Audiology and her Doctorate of Audiology degree at Western Michigan University. She was drawn to field of audiology because of the direct impact hearing healthcare can have on a person’s quality of life. Dr. Ridenour strives to make long-lasting, personal relationships with each of her patients and works diligently to provide the best quality of service. Dr. Michelle Ridenour is at the center on the second Tuesday of each month from 2:00 to 3:30 pm, for free hearing aid checks, along with wax checks and removal.
Blessed Feet, LLC offers a foot clinic at our facility, the second Thursday of each month. Jane Sherwin, is a registered nurse who has been clipping toenails since 2008. She visits 6 Berrien County senior centers and has 10 foot clinics in the month. Jane began working for Lakeland Hospital, then Van's Medical Equipment and in April 2021 she became self-employed working under the name of Blessed Feet, LLC. If you are interested in having Jane, take care of your toenails she requires a doctor's consent form, which you can get from BASC. Call 269-695-7119 for more information. Jan is happy to be able to care for your feet.
Blood Pressure Checks
Patti Vandergrift is the community liaison with Always Best Care Michiana, a nonmedical home care company. Patti has worked for over 20 years in the healthcare field. Her current position allows her to help people stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Please stop by the BASC, say “Hi” to Patti, and get your blood pressure check.
"Thank you for visiting!"
From our 2022 Board of Directors