The Golden Hub is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3, charitable organization serving the needs of the citizens of Gillespie County. Donations to the organization or fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Golden Hub is incorporated under the official name of the Gillespie County Committee on Aging.
2017-2018 Board Members
DIRECTOR – Denise Usener
BOOKKEEPER/OFFICE MANAGER – Melanie Nagel
MEALS ON WHEELS COORDINATOR – Stephanie Borda
RECEPTIONIST – Janie Heinemann & Pat Frederick
COOKS – Amanda Borders and Sara Viveros
DISHWASHER – Rick Hartmann
MAINTENANCE – Don Masters
The History of the Golden Hub
Though not called the Golden Hub at the time, an original group of approximately a dozen people, including Mrs. Leta Ann Metzger, and led by the Rev. Ted Leonard of the United Methodist Church, formed a senior club in Fredericksburg in 1975. At that time, a contest was held to name the senior group and Mrs. John (Irene) Cramer won with her entry of the “The Happy Age Club” (which was later shortened to “The Happy Agers”.)
In 1976, the group first started its “Meals on Wheels” program to provide hot meals to senior citizen shut-ins. Volunteers operated out of the kitchen at the First Baptist Church. In 1977, a sidewalk bake sale paid for the charter for the Gillespie County Committee on Aging (GCCOA).
Shortly thereafter, in 1978, the group moved its operations to the old First Methodist Church (now the Gillespie County Historical Society) at 312 W. San Antonio Street. It was in that location that volunteers remodeled the facility for the purpose of a senior citizen center. Already specialized groups were forming, such as the “Kaffee Klatsch” (a current events conversation club for retired men), and a “Church Mouse” area was opened to sell sewn items in order to earn revenue to pay for building
“Life in ‘312’ was educational, inspiring, and entertaining,” wrote Margaret Squires, in her “The First Fifteen Years” account of the Golden Hub’s beginning. As Meals on Wheels became more popular and the senior clubs were well attended, it became apparent that the GCCOA had outgrown “312” and the search began for a new home.
That’s when the 7,000 square foot former furniture and floor covering store at 1009 N. Lincoln (the present day Hub) was discovered and bought (with the proceeds from a fund drive, a rummage sale, and a surprise donation from the Ruby Stevens family.) The original purchase price was $85,000.
A crew of retired folks immediately began renovation work to transform the building into a workable center, based on plans drafted years earlier by Glenn Benjamin.
About the time of the move-in, the Fredericksburg Standard editor Art Kowert wrote in his weekly, “Around the Square” column: Our senior citizens have embarked on one of the most ambitious programs that has ever been undertaken.”
On Nov. 4, 1982, a preview party was hosted and a contest was launched to find a new name for the center. The grand opening luncheon was held Dec. 6, 1982, when it was announced that Maureen Baublitt’s contest submission of “The Golden Hub” was the newly chosen title for the senior center, making her a $25 prize winner.
At the time, Mrs. Baublitt said she came up with the name because the center and its various services and programs (including Meals on Wheels) reminded her of a wagon wheel with spikes shooting off in different directions, but remaining joined at the central hub. Plus, she said, the use of the word “golden” alluded to the senior citizens being in their “golden” years.
In its new home, the Hub’s activities continued and grew on a larger scale. In just eight short months, the committee burned the mortgage in a ceremony May 12, 1983.
The Golden Hub has now been in its present location for 34 years, We will be celebrating our 35th anniversary on Dec. 8, 2017 with a community wide party.
Over the years, the Golden Hub has evolved through frequent renovations. In the past six years alone, the Hub has seen the ceilings raised, the carpeting replaced with wood-look vinyl floor covering, the dark paneled walls covered with wallpaper, new lighting, cabinets, and furniture installed, with a complete kitchen remodel and renovation of the bathrooms. This transformation was made possible by several large community grants, donations from the public and through the hard work of the Golden Hub board members and volunteers.
The Hub’s Meals on Wheels program has expanded to serve over 100 Gillespie County citizens each weekday and includes seniors in the Stonewall and Harper areas. In-house congregate dining continues to grow, as well as the many activities offered at the center, including dance, exercise, games, crafts, music, education, social events, parties, and club meetings. Though limited by space due to zoning constraints, the Hub makes use of every square foot of the building, using rooms for a multitude of purposes, even renting the building out to clubs and individuals on weekends and evenings. As its name implies, the Golden Hub is indeed a community “hub” of activity for seniors of all ages.