it all began…
August 1969 at the age of 73, Harry W. Dietert purchased the house
next door – the Mae Gracey home at 617 Jefferson Street in Kerrville,
Texas - for the purpose of setting up a community activity center
for senior citizens.
someone who had personally failed at ‘retirement,’ Mr.
Dietert understood first-hand about the limited opportunities for
social, intellectual and creative interaction for older individuals
in this small, rural community, nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill
with Kerrville State Hospital’s Volunteer Services Council,
Mr. Dietert organized what would become the Dietert Claim Senior
Citizen’s Center. Their goal was to address the challenge
of leisure time and the desire of older citizens to involve themselves
in helping others.
from his successful career in the mining and foundry industry, Mr.
Dietert and the staff envisioned the center as a place where older adults in the
Hill Country could "stake their claim for the gold of their
golden years” in an atmosphere that promoted friendship, support
first volunteers were called "Prospectors" and were described by
Nell Lenard, Program Specialist at the time, as " special people who
want to dig more out of life by giving help to others.
Prospectors seek gold in service, recreation and fellowship, while
panning out loneliness, boredom and isolation. "