Ateaze Senior Center
A Member of The Dundalk Chamber of Commerce
7401 Holabird Avenue
Dundalk, Maryland 21222
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Center Director: Rebecca Ebert
Assistant Director: Katelyn Poncheri
Center Connection Specialist: Michelle Smith
The Ateaze Senior Center is a vibrant center of community activity providing educational, social and recreational services for members aged 60 and over.
What Program Options Are Available?
Read about current happenings and events in our monthly newsletter, "The Ateaze Hummer" (PDF). Physical fitness classes and programs have always been very popular and include a wide variety of options. The Ateaze Senior Center proudly offers a state-of-the-art fitness center designed to meet the needs of the mature adult age 60 and over. It is equipped with treadmills, recumbent bikes and steppers, strength training circuits, flexibility and stretching stations and more!
A walking program, exercise classes, and chair exercise class are all offered three times weekly. You can enjoy the benefits of moving meditation, which enhances balance and circulation, through a tai chi class. Several water aerobics classes are offered at the Community College of Baltimore County - Dundalk Campus weekly. Dance programs are equally as diverse; they include line dance, ballroom dance, square dance and the very popular Zumba. Additionally, bowling, table tennis, and bocce can be physically challenging. For the more adventurous, the Ateaze Cycling Seniors offer a weekly organized bike ride which averages thirty miles round trip.
Computer and Internet classes are quite popular, working from a beginner's level to intermediate, and gaining a working knowledge of the Internet.
To challenge the artistic, a wide variety of painting and craft classes are available. Sample items are on display in the main lobby showcase and hanging on our walls in the lobby art gallery.
Interested in current events? A variety of classes and special guest speakers are scheduled on a monthly basis. Health professionals present the latest data to keep the membership appraised of new developments in health care.
You are invited to visit any program free of charge for the first class. The objective of all our activities is to help our members remain active, healthy and enriched.
After retirement, many senior citizens value the opportunity to support their community through options offered at the senior center. The Ateaze Senior Center Council is an elected body of officials that supports the operation of the senior center through a partnership with the Baltimore County Department of Aging. Council activities include social and fundraising events, such as a cafeteria and travel unit; both operate four days per week. Volunteers support the Baltimore County Department of Aging staff in the processes that enable the senior center to function as a vibrant lifestyle center. Volunteer fitness monitors keep the fitness center operating each day and contribute to the health and wellness of our membership.
History of the Ateaze Senior Center
Tracing the formation of the center would begin with a motivated group of citizens who met at the Dundalk Methodist Church in August of 1966 to consider the development of programs and activities for senior citizens of the community. The establishment of the senior center is officially recognized as March 1967. By February 1969, the senior services fell under the auspices of Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks. Two staff people were hired, a Program Coordinator and a Director. As support increased, so did attendance and programs.
The group known as The Dundalk Senior Citizens Clubroom established a committee to search for a unique name for the new center. The committee's choice was "at ease" (the opposite of "at attention"). Since 1970, the senior group has been recognized as the Ateaze Senior Center.
In November 1971, the Ateaze Senior Center moved to the Servicemen's Club at Fort Holabird. The new location offered a larger facility including recreation areas, meeting rooms, a kitchen, offices and ample parking. By 1972, membership had increased to 476 and many programs and activities doubled in size. The center was open four days a week. Full-time staffing was provided by Baltimore County.
Due to facility problems and the growth of the membership, the senior center was relocated several times in the following few years:
December 1975 - New Location - The Dundalk Armory
March 1976 - Back to the Officers Club, Fort Holabird
June 1978 - 7401 Holabird Avenue (present location)
Senior Center Growth
Growth of the Ateaze Senior Center has occurred in other ways as well. A volunteer Senior Center Council was established in 1978 to help guide the activities of the senior center, with Walter Shaeffer serving as its first president.
The following year, in 1979, the Baltimore County Department of Aging was created and is now responsible for coordinating funding and services from the federal, state and local governments. In January 1980, the Federal Nutrition program was started at the Ateaze Senior Center. In addition, with meals continuing to be prepared by volunteers, Ateaze had the only dual lunch program in a Baltimore County Senior Center.
Senior Center Improvements
Many facility improvements have been made to the Holabird Avenue site. In 1983, the center was temporarily moved to the Northpoint Junior High School building to allow for the Holabird Avenue building to be renovated. In 2000, Baltimore County funded improvements to the facility such as a new roof, window replacements, exterior brick pointing, and the interior painted. In 2001, Baltimore County provided funds to replace all furnishings for the senior center. February 2005 marked the opening of the Ateaze Senior Fitness Center.
On March 31, 2000, in Washington D.C. at the National Council of Aging's Convention, Ateaze Senior Center became an accredited senior center. In fact, Baltimore County became the first municipality in the country to have all of their senior centers accredited. The centers were accredited again in 2005. The Ateaze Senior Center has taken great pride in this distinction.
The Ateaze Senior Center has become a thriving component of the community. Other Baltimore County agencies, a vast number of community businesses, and a broad range of partnerships support the senior center. The members of the center credit their vitality to the opportunities made available at their community senior center. The senior center has become a "destination point" for the community.
Revised November 26, 2014