In the 1960s, Massachusetts legislation created Councils on Aging for the cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The first senior center in Lexington was located in the Lexington Visitors Center and later moved to the site of the former Muzzey School. In 1972, a bequest from a Lexington resident specified that half of the proceeds from the sale of her home would be given to the Town to be spent for a new senior center. To receive this gift, the Friends of the Lexington Council on Aging was established as a 501(C)(3) charity. The money from this bequest is now invested in an endowment which is managed financially by the Lexington Trustees of the Public Trust.
The FCOA mission statement is included in its by-laws: The purpose of this [corporation] shall be to raise money through contributions and fundraising activities, which monies shall be disbursed to cover FCOA organizational costs, to support programs, and to purchase equipment and/or services for the senior citizens of Lexington Massachusetts, in coordination with the Lexington Council on Aging.
Since the 1970s the FCOA has met regularly and used interest income from the endowment and funds raised by the group to support--through the Human Services Department--programs, transportation, and luncheons for Lexington seniors. In 2013 the FCOA received a Dana Home Foundation grant to start the program known as OWLL -- Older, Wiser, Lifelong Learners. The OWLL educational programs features courses of four to six sessions and charges residents $25 per course. The OWLL program has grown from 86 registrations to more than 500, has offered more than 100 courses, and is self-sustaining.
The FCOA has established this website which provides current information on the activities and programs sponsored by the FCOA. The grant-making program “Bright Ideas” generated the very successful creative arts journal Lexington LifeTimes which is published twice a year. The Summer 2021 Lexington LifeTimes issue was the eighth in this series. Thanks to corporate sponsors and individual patrons, Lexington LifeTimes is self-sustaining. The contributing writers, photographers, and artists are Lexington residents who are delighted to share their creative efforts and see them in print.
When the new Lexington Community Center was built, the FCOA contributed $45,000 to furnish the mansion section of the center. Each year, the FCOA gives $20,000 to the Human Services Department to sponsor luncheons, exercise classes, and trips for seniors, and reduced cost bus (Lexpress) and taxi transportation (LexConnect) for seniors. The FCOA continues to search for ways to support more vibrant and healthy living for Lexington seniors and welcomes your suggestions for future programs.