Sometimes You Want to Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

A new year often calls for shaking up the old routine and figuring out how to make time for what genuinely brings you happiness. Doing so can encourage the evaluation of ways in which you find fulfillment, joy, and what brings true happiness. 
 
For many, especially senior adults, and senior adults new to Frisco, finding community and relationships, and remaining active are shared and common goals, and they can do just that at The Grove at Frisco Commons right here in the heart of Frisco.
 
The Grove at Frisco Commons opened its doors in January 2020 offering Frisco’s senior adults access to more activities and a larger community space than ever before. The 30,000-square-foot facility is almost twice the size of the city’s former Senior Center at Frisco Square and serves as a place for adults ages 50 and older to gather, connect, stay active, and spend time making memories together. 
 
 Membership and participation at The Grove at Frisco Commons gives active adults the opportunity to get out of the house and spend time with and amongst others while staying active and finding well-being in a welcoming and safe environment. The center has various programs, events, and amenities that reflect a core belief that play is essential for all ages and abilities. 
 
Marcia Fisch is a long-time member of The Grove at Frisco Commons and serves as Treasurer of the Advisory Council at the center. Ms. Fisch is 88 years old (she was happy and excited to share her age!) and considers the senior center her second home.
 
 “I belonged to the old center originally, so we got to vote for what we wanted to be in this facility. The people are terrific. The staff is wonderful. There’s nothing bad about it! It’s uplifting, it’s friendly…and it’s not just a senior center, it’s an adult center. It’s a wonderful place to give. It’s [The Grove] helped a great deal with my cancer. I’m a survivor. The center is part of that,” Ms. Fisch shares proudly.
 
This thoughtfully planned facility is a modern space ripe with a caring staff, enchanting members, enriching programming, and much more.
 

Events, Classes, and Trips

Christi Freitas, Senior Recreation Coordinator at The Grove at Frisco Commons, has worked with Frisco seniors for eight years and plans all of the special events and programs for members. Not only does she get to brainstorm new and enjoyable ways for seniors to spend quality time together, she knows most of the members by name! Ms. Freitas strives to make The Grove at Frisco Commons feel like a home away from home for members and to make special events and holidays different every year.
 
 Breakfast with Santa, an annual event part of Frisco’s Merry Main Street, takes place at The Grove at Frisco Commons. Of the Breakfast with Santa event, Ms. Freitas says, “I love that event! It’s amazing because we get multi-generational attendance from our members with their families and grandkids. We get to see so many parts of our members’ lives and families from year to year.” 
 
Another all-time program favorite is the center’s monthly Birthday Bash to celebrate and recognize members. “We celebrate that our seniors have another year on the planet and with us! They are loud and proud about how old they are. We love celebrating them!” shares Leslie Rainey, Supervisor at The Grove at Frisco Commons.
 
 Most senior centers in and around Frisco’s surrounding cities have specific events or programs they are known for, and The Grove at Frisco Commons is no different, often being recognized for its one-of-a-kind events. “Members frequent other senior centers and say they are nothing like Frisco’s! This comes from listening to what members want and need,” Ms. Freitas explains. 
Ms. Rainey adds, “We look at other senior centers and see what they may be doing, but we always add our own flair. We put our personal touches on activities to make them all different!”
 
When looking at adding a new program or service, the staff works closely to determine if it aligns with the center’s mission and helps someone live a more active, healthy, fulfilled lifestyle. The Grove at Frisco Commons offers a wide array of classes and programs including fitness classes, day trips off campus, wellness seminars, a caregiver’s support group, book clubs, grief counseling, insurance and financial consulting, haircuts, and even blood pressure checks. 
 
 Of the offered programming, Ms. Rainey says her favorites are trips they take to get members out and experience the community by visiting museums, theaters, restaurants, etc. “It gives seniors different opportunities to get out if they don’t drive anymore or may not be comfortable driving,” Ms. Rainey explains. 
 
“We provide transportation, and it provides them with the chance to get out and have cultural experiences. Our trips are very popular and sell out in minutes!” she says. In the past, trips have been taken to anywhere from Oklahoma City to downtown Dallas.
 
In addition to other unique opportunities, The Grove at Frisco Commons hosts classes offered by the University of North Texas (UNT) Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program, which provides educational opportunities and social engagement curated by and for adults aged 50 and better.
 

Unique Amentities

With more than 30,000 square feet of programming and class space with a large open lobby, the facility also features a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, a billiards room, and easy access to Frisco Commons Park and walking trails. There are outdoor pickleball and bocce ball courts, a fitness and aerobic studio, a self-serve coffee bar, an art studio, a large event space, and much more. “It’s a welcoming, open, and beautifully designed space,” says Ms. Freitas.

 
 The facility was thoughtfully and exquisitely designed with soaring ceilings and open and spacious spaces with modern, floor-to-ceiling windows. Functionality plays a large role in the way the staff is able to set various rooms up as many of the rooms have walls that can move to open them up to larger spaces or make them smaller depending on the use. 
 
When we visited, there was a large room that had a large group playing multiple tables of Bridge, and the next room over was smaller and hosted 3-4 tables of members playing cards, and another room even had a small group working together with a member to learn the English language.  
 
Member Shirin Wadia appreciates the amenities and spaces throughout the building as they have become part of her daily routine when she gets to the center in the morning. 
 
 Ms. Wadia shares, “I love to come here. I love to meet people. I get my strength from that. I’m a mischievous person, and I love to make people laugh, which is what I do here. My daughter encourages me to come here. When I get here in the morning, the first thing I do is I say hi to Marcia and everyone, and then I go to the gym, and I do the treadmill, and then I do yoga and meditate in a quiet room when one is available.”
 

Membership Types and Benefits

Many members join after just moving to the area, not knowing anyone in the community yet. Once these active adults set foot through the doors of The Grove at Frisco Commons, membership representatives and staff immediately help them find new friends and meet others with similar interests. 

 
 “We see many members daily, so we develop relationships with them. We know about their families, interests, and what is going on in their lives. We become an extension of their family when a senior joins,” Ms. Rainey says.
 
There are various membership types available that include: Frisco residents (50+ years), non-residents (50+ years), caregivers, and even day passes. The Grove at Frisco Commons requires no initiation fees or long-term contracts. With the purchase of a Fitness Pass, members also have access to more than 20 group exercise classes every week. 
 
 For members who are unable to drive, there are transportation options available for them to get to and from The Grove at Frisco Commons. This is a popular option for members, so much so that these helpful buses are often completely booked at capacity.
 
The Grove at Frisco Commons publishes a monthly newsletter for members with information about upcoming activities and events. “We also ask what each new member’s interests are so we can direct them into programs and activities that are a good fit for them,” Ms. Freitas says. 
 
The staff seeks to make each and every member feel welcome, heard, and seen, and values the feedback given by members. “We listen to our members. This age group and membership is not afraid to say what they think! Our members are honest with their feedback. It is their chance to help adapt the facility’s programming to what our specific membership is interested in,” Ms. Freitas explains. 
 
 For active adults or seniors looking to get plugged into a Frisco community, The Grove at Frisco Commons is a great place to join and meet others. “Our members are our biggest cheerleaders and advocates. One person on our advisory council even told all of their friends that this facility is worth moving to Frisco for,” Ms. Freitas says. 
 
Member of The Grove at Frisco Commons, Hossein Fatemi couldn’t agree more and admits that he misses the center and the people at the center on the weekends. He shares, “This facility for seniors is unbelievable. I tell my friends when I come here, I think I’ve gone to heaven. There is no place better than here. Not only is it a nice place, it’s a nice staff. They promote us, they encourage us, and they love when we are here.” 
 
Mr. Fatemi adds, “I exercise and play pool with people from other nations and cultures, and we all enjoy it. The people are unbelievable. The culture is very special. Many are from different countries, and we have many friends. I am not alone. I have many friends who are like my brothers and sisters here.  There’s something special here.”
 
The Grove at Frisco Commons, located at 8300 McKinney Road, is open Monday-Thursday (7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.), Friday (7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.), and Saturday (8 a.m.-2 p.m.).
 
For more information on membership or touring The Grove at Frisco Commons call 972.292.6550 or go to friscotexas.gov to learn more.
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