Leon Mathieu Senior Center Receives AARP Grant for Outdoor Activity Center

List of the 2019 AARP Community Challenge winners

Pawtucket – The Leon Mathieu Senior Center received the 2019 AARP Community Challenge, which will provide $11,933 in funds toward creating an Outdoor Activity Center intended to encourage older adults and community members to socialize.


“We thank AARP for presenting this generous grant to the Senior Center as one of only two entities in the state to receive funding,” said Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “These funds will go a long way to ensure that our community members, who utilize the facilities at the Senior Center, have access to the activities that contribute to their overall quality of life.


The project will create part of an Outdoor Activity Center that includes seating, planters and two outdoor table top game stations, all of which are designed to encourage older adults and community members to socialize.


Director of Senior Services Mary-Lou Moran said, “The Senior Center is beyond excited to be receiving this grant from AARP. It will be extremely helpful to provide an Outdoor Activity Center for our community. We hope to provide the Activity Center as another service for our residents. This will add to our ongoing plan to create an age-friendly playground with low-impact exercise equipment designed to promote flexibility, balance, and coordination.”


For the third annual AARP Community Challenge, AARP received more than 1,660 applications from nonprofits and government entities, resulting in a highly competitive selection process. A total of nearly $1.6 million was distributed to fund 159 quick-action projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jump start long-term progress to support residents of all ages.


According to AARP, the winning projects achieved one or more of the following outcomes:

Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability and/or access to public and private transit.

Create vibrant public places in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.

Support the availability of a range of housing in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options.

Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” to encourage the development and implementation of innovative decision-making and programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data to increase the quality of life for residents.

Other community improvements based on the most important needs in a community and the best quick-action ideas for addressing them.


Also according to AARP, the following proposals were prioritized over those supporting programming or events:

Permanent physical improvements in the community

Temporary demonstrations that lead to long-term change

New, innovative programming or services


Pawtucket’s Leon Mathieu Senior Center is one of only two Rhode Island based organizations to receive the grant, alongside Providence’s Amos House.


For more information on the projects, visit