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Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

A new executive director has been selected and the first classes are being offered at the Eel River Valley MGC (multigenerational center) in Fortuna. Trina Pockett says she is excited about her new position and the opportunities to make a difference in people's lives. “When all age groups interact,” she said, “it builds a stronger community.”

The mission of the MGC, which offers a variety of activities, classes, programs, and services, is to make a difference in people's lives by providing a healthy and supportive environment that promotes interaction, understanding, and respect between generations.

Although the center is not officially open, several classes are being offered. Local artist Susan Cooper is teaching a teen arts program on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., starting March 21. The fee is $60 per month and she will teach drawing, painting, mixed-media, printmaking, sculpture, and more. Cooper will also offer a silk painting class, where students will learn how to create a colorful silk scarf. Beginners are welcome and the cost is $35, which includes all supplies. Pre-registration is required by March 18. Send a message to Susan Cooper Art.

Another class being offered through the Humboldt State University Osher Lifelong learning Institute is Floods of Northern California, a class being offered on Tuesday nights. The first session was held this week, and it will continue for the next two weeks. The fee is $45 for OLLI members and $70 for nonmembers.

This course will examine the history, weather, and geology that contributed to the multiple flood events. Historian Jerry Rohde will conduct a PowerPoint presentation covering North Coast flood events over the last 150 years and meteorologist Nancy Dean will talk about the weather that occurred during the 1955 and 1964 floods and what the impacts were on the rivers.

The MGC was formed after many groups realized there was no place to hold their needed and wanted activities in a central location. Not only will it offer age specific programs and services, but also interaction between different age groups. “Senior citizens can teach young people how to quilt, perhaps, or how to can jam,” Pockett said, “and the young people can teach the older generations how to put together a PowerPoint presentation or how to check email.”

Pockett spoke of her desire to “nurture creative passions and interests through strong and varied programs to meet the needs of a diverse community.

MGC board of directors chairman Chris Cooper said he believes pocket is the right person for the job. “We feel she will do an excellent job building bridges between all agencies and age groups and will promote inclusive community service.” He describes Pockett as open-minded and energetic. She was raised in Humboldt County and is a graduate of Fortuna High School.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

MGC Executive Director Trina Pockett (right) and board of directors chairman Chris Cooper stand in the back yard of the MGC, located at 2280 Newburg Road in Fortuna.