Donations make waves at Modern Maturity Center

DOVER — The Modern Maturity Center was able to finally complete a project on its to-do list when a generous donation of $70,000 was bequeathed by Doris and Richard Aurich.

“If there ever was such a thing as a cosmic alignment, this was it,” said Carolyn Fredricks, the center’s president and CEO. “We had already identified the fitness center and pool as areas that needed attention and we had planned almost exactly what we wanted to do with them and then the donation came.”

The center, at 1121 Forrest Ave., learned of the donation in October and received it in November. Work on the fitness center and pool, renamed in the Aurich family’s honor, soon began.

Due to a carefully crafted plan only awaiting funding, the renovations were completed in only four short months.

“It’s exciting,” Emily Holland, of Dover, said while in the pool Thursday. “I’ve been taking water aerobics here since 2008 and my husband and I really like the changes.”

The Aurich donation funded a new rubberized deck, resurfaced pool and new lighting while grants from the Longwood Foundation and DNREC paid for salt instead of chlorine water and heating by solar panels.

“The salt water is great,” Ms. Holland said. “It’s a lot easier on your skin and your swimsuits.”

And that’s a benefit about 200 people a week get during their water aerobics classes. The pool is also used for physical therapy, volleyball and Kent County Parks and Recreation classes every Tuesday and Thursday.

For those who’d rather do their exercise on dry land, they now have a more open area to exercise and new equipment to use.

“We knocked out a couple walls and it gave us the opportunity to lay all the machines out like a professional gym,” said Tony Carvo, director of the Aurich Pool and Fitness Center.

Some of the gym’s frequenters were a little apprehensive of the improvements when they came in last week but the response has been positive.

“You know how people are, no one likes change so some of our regulars didn’t like that there were new machines or that they were moved but I think everyone now realizes what a good set up it is now,” Mr. Carvo said. “All the machines are grouped by the area of the body you’re working and now everyone can see and hear the TV no matter where you are.”

There are also motivational quotes on the walls to keep everyone’s spirits up and help them reach their goals.

“A few hundred people a week use the gym and pool but we hope to see those numbers increase now that the whole area has been improved and opened up,” Ms. Fredericks said. “These renovations don’t only benefit the Modern Maturity Center, they benefit all older adults in our area.”

People 50 and older can join the center for $15 a year, or a one-time $150 lifetime fee, according to its website, For more information, call 734-1200.

A non-profit organization, the Modern Maturity Center relies greatly on grants and donations to keep its facilities and services in top shape.

Staff writer Ashton Brown can be reached
at or 741-8272.
Follow AshtonReports on Twitter.

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