Columbia, SC — On Thursday, the Capital Senior Center officially changed its name to the Sen. Isadore E. Lourie Center. It was a long overdue honor for the late senator, who served South Carolina and Richland County for 28 years in the General Assembly. He was a tireless advocate for good government, justice and human dignity. When he died in 2003, he left an enduring legacy of major legislative accomplishments.
Sen. Lourie sponsored legislation that established the State Commission on Aging, the Interagency Council on Aging, the homestead exemption and the income exemption for the homebound elderly. He was also responsible for South Carolina establishing the Permanent Improvement Program, funded by bingo taxes, that built or renovated 72 senior centers. One of these was the Capital Senior Center, which opened in 1996.
Though the Capital Senior Center will now be known as the Lourie Center, its mission will remain the same: providing opportunities for people to remain physically fit, socially engaged, intellectually stimulated and independent. The center serves 850 members, ages 50-104, from all socio-economic levels. Open seven days a week, it offers exercise, health and special-interest programs. On average, more than 200 people use the center each day.
Our new name will enhance our ability to serve people age 50 and older. Because people are living longer and are healthier and more active, they do not necessarily think of themselves as “seniors.” The center helps them remain at the top of their game. The center also serves the broader community through its rental program, each year hosting more than 80 meetings, conferences, weddings and receptions.
The Lourie Center will not only be a lasting tribute to the senator’s pioneering role, but will also underscore the importance of advocates for programs and funding that can help seniors remain active, productive and independent.