• This Is Rutherford

This is the 55 Kip Center

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

By Jennifer Ersalesi

In 1985 a senior activity center opened in the local parish house of the First Presbyterian Church in partnership with the Interfaith Council of Rutherford. Seniors were invited to spend Saturdays at the parish house enjoying meals, programs and activities.


In 1995, the Kip Center was opened at Kip Avenue. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, the 55 Kip Center offers a number of classes, such as exercise, technology, and art classes. There are often special programs, such as entertainment, visits from local professionals, and meals that are offered four days per week. This is Rutherford spoke with Dana Monaghan, the new Executive Director and Cathy Baviello, Assistant Director and Program Coordinator.


TIR: In your position, what are your goals?

DM: Our goals are to raise funds for the 55 Kip Center and increase membership.

Cathy Baviello: We help find programs that appeal to the diverse needs and interests of our members, which includes the classes and activities. My goal is to continue to bring information that encompasses health and wellness.


TIR: In the next couple of months, the Kip Center will host various fundraising events, can you tell us more about these upcoming events?

DM: There is so many great things happening at the 55 Kip Center! Our Fall Gala is October 4th at The Fiesta and this year's theme is Jukebox Memories with Joe Zisa and Friends entertaining. 50/50 raffles and Gala tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the 55 Kip Center. Sponsorships and Advertisements are still available. We are hoping to see a lot of new people this year.

Joe Zisa and Friends

The 2nd Tuesday of each month is Kip Cashola Night at Rutherford's Volare's Italian Restaurant. Twenty percent of each regularly priced meal gets donated to the 55 Kip Center. We are very grateful to the management at Volare's and the generosity of our supporters.

Designer Bag Bingo is 1:00pm on Sunday, October 20th at 55 Kip Center. Tickets are $30.00 each and on sale now. This event is BYOB. There will be gorgeous designer bags. It will be a great way to spend a Sunday with friends and family!


TIR: What are the proceeds from the Gala and the fundraising events used for at the Kip Center?

DM: The proceeds are used to provide seniors with a place to gather with friends, participate in activities and receive a healthy meal.


TIR: Tell us more about the meals that members can enjoy on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

DM: Seniors can purchase nutritious lunches, which include soup, an entree, milk, coffee or tea and dessert. Providing meals to seniors at a reduced reasonable cost requires us to depend on outside funding, donations and fundraisers.

TIR: The 55 Kip Center offers many different types of classes. Can you tell us more about the classes?

DM: The 55 Kip Center is a special place with programs that are led by enthusiastic instructors who are very knowledgeable. We have classes for members with varying activity levels and abilities. We have T'ai Chi, Dancercize, Zumba, Body Strengthening, Tap, Men's Fitness, Painting, and more. Aside from classes, our Members gather for Creative Writing, Crochet, Mahjong and Volunteer opportunities. Our computer room/library is open all day for members to read, research and socialize.

CB: I also coordinate trips to Broadway shows, malls, casinos, and more that are open to our members and their family and friends.

Cathy Baviello

TIR: How can one become a member of 55 Kip Center?

DM: Our Operations Administrator, Gerarda Eustache, or one of our other staff members can assist anyone who wants to join the 55 Kip Center. You can visit us at the 55 Kip Center to sign up. The membership form can also be found online. Rutherford residents pay $10.00 per year and non-residents pay $15.00. Classes are at an additional cost.


TIR: Tell us about Saturdays at the Kip Center.

DM: Saturdays are filled with fun activities and entertainment. Lunch is served by local volunteer groups, such as the Lions Club and Junior Women's Club. Many members bring family in for the festivities.

CB: The 55 Kip Center is the only Senior Activity Center in the area opened on Saturdays and is open to everyone, including those who do not live in Rutherford.


On October 12th, the entertainment will be "The Musical History of the 50s" from Grandma's Jukebox featuring songs of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Johnnie Ray, Pat Boone, Johnny Mathis, and Perry Como. This is just one example of the type of programming that we provide at the 55 Kip Center.


TIR: Lastly, what else do you want the community to know and understand about the 55 Kip Center and what it offers?

DM: The 55 Kip Center is a fun place with great people. Our membership and class fees are affordable. We also offer evening classes including Art, Body Strengthening and Yoga that are open to all ages (under 18 must be with Guardian).

CB: We welcome residents and non-residents to visit the 55 Kip Center and learn about what we have to offer. The next few months will be filled with exciting events and classes.

DM: Please visit our website and Facebook page for updated information. You can also contact our office at (201) 460-1600.

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