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AGAWAM — Cindy Sullivan is on to bigger things as the Agawam Senior Center’s executive director.

“I don’t regret my decision coming here at all,” she said. “I think it was a great move for me personally and professionally.”

Sullivan took the position in January, replacing Michael Squindo, who left to work for the Senior Center in Westfield. Before, she spent 10 years as the Southwick Senior Center executive director, the last two-and-a-half of which she also served as the parks and recreation director. She said part of her reason for moving to Agawam was to focus on advocating for seniors.

“That’s what I’m doing full-time, and that’s amazing to me,” she said.

While Sullivan misses the Southwick’s Senior Center staff and seniors, she said she has been welcomed in Agawam with open arms. She has gotten to know many of Agawam’s seniors, and Council on Aging staff have been “fantastic,” she said.

“Everyone’s very helpful here, so if you don’t know, you ask,” she said.

Agawam’s Senior Center, she said, is much bigger than Southwick’s, with a bigger budget, more seniors, and even a kitchen to cook food in-house. It is also very busy, she said, with anywhere from 200 to 300 people visiting a day.

The Senior Center is also open longer. In Southwick, it closed at 2 p.m. on Mondays, 1 p.m. on Fridays, and 4 p.m. other weekdays. Agawam’s is open until 5 p.m. each day, Sullivan said. While people have asked for hours to be expanded into the evening, Sullivan said the COA is hesitant to do that until there’s more afternoon programming.

She said she has had a little to adjust to Agawam’s mayor-council form of government. Though, she did say she was used to it, having served on the Westfield School Committee. She has also been adjusting to the new mayor, Christopher Johnson, along with everyone else in town government, she said.

In December, then-Mayor William Sapelli told Reminder Publishing he believed Sullivan could expand programming and attendance at the Senior Center. Sullivan confirmed the center is looking to do just that, especially in the dining room. More people coming would mean more socialization between seniors, she said.

“We are working on expanding our programs, basically, and we are working on expanding our numbers in the dining room, trying to get more people to come into lunch,” she said.

In her first few months, that’s already been happening. Sullivan said almost 100 new people have registered for classes and lunch since January. As well, the center has hosted two new classes: a chair yoga class since March and an African-American drumming class since April.

The Council on Aging is working on a self-defense class, and is looking to add more afternoon programming. Anyone with ideas for new programming can call the Senior Center at 413-821-0604, reach out on Facebook, or visit the center in-person. People can also reach out to Sullivan directly at 413-726-2835 or coa@agawam.ma.us.

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