A new Senior Center coordinator joined the Woodstock Parks and Recreation team this past October. Julie Markley is a recent transplant from Fort Worth, Texas, where she owned an ice cream business called Gypsy Scoops. Before that, she worked in economic development and tourism for the Six Points Urban Village.
Markley is a graduate of the University of Georgia. She and her husband moved back from Texas in 2020 with their three children. Markley loves being back, seeing old friends, and has enjoyed making new ones — including the friends she is making at the Senior Center.
The center offers a variety of daily programs including mah-jongg, billiards, arts and crafts, painting, dancing, and wood carving. Programming also includes a robust trip schedule to local museums, theaters, restaurants, festivals, and other points of interest.
Here's an interview, so you can get to know Markley and learn more about the Senior Center:
Q: What prepared you best for your new role?
A: I think there were many things that prepared me for my role as Senior Center coordinator including growing up as an Army brat, being an urban development coordinator in Fort Worth, and owning my own ice cream business. I am accustomed to putting out small fires while juggling budgets and plans for the year ahead. I have learned to adapt and listen in order to put the "customer" first. Our seniors have varied opinions and wants, so I try my best to listen and accommodate.
Q: What are you looking forward to most at the Senior Center in 2022?
A: I am having so much fun. I'm enjoying making trip plans to surrounding cities and museums and planning new activities at the center such as bocce ball and sock hop dances. I'm looking forward to growing membership the most. The center saw a decline in members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each time someone new comes in for a tour, I'm excited and look forward to more people joining in on all the fun activities the center has to offer.
Q: Why is it important for our community to have such a thriving Senior Center?
A: Having a thriving Senior Center is very important. I haven't been in my position long, but I have already noticed that our seniors are the ones giving back to their community. Being retired, they now have the time to share and knowledge to give. The center offers them that connection to each other, the city, and their community. Seniors are the ones who have lived and worked in Woodstock for years. It's now time for Woodstock to give back to them, so they can "play" and enjoy being active adults.
The Woodstock Senior Center has more than 600 members. Activity memberships are $25 annually. Register online at WoodstockParksAndRec.com.