Senior Circle

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In April 1999, Senior Circle Association was established in the Payson community as a non-profit, tax-paying membership organization for adults age 50 and older. Membership provides access to a generous menu of national and local discounts, benefits, events and services. The core of our program is our mission: To encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for senior adults by providing programs that encourage continued learning, wellness, health and volunteering, coupled with a host of social activities.

First started in 1999, the organization has grown to more than 1,500 members locally. Our 1000th member, Mr. William Morrow was very surprised (with the help of his wife, Susan) at our exciting Holiday Dinner at Mazatzal Casino in December 2006. We'll be looking for that 2000th member by years end, here's hoping it's you!

The Payson chapter is sponsored by Payson Regional Medical Center. One of the hallmarks of Senior Circle is the generous selection of activities and benefits. For $15 a year, members get national benefits such as prescription, vision, travel, home emergency response & other discounts. Each local chapter builds a unique menu of benefits, health education, fellowship, travel and entertainment activities, local discounts and a bi-monthly chapter publication.

Senior Circle Advisor Kathy Coombes

I am honored to be serving as Senior Circle Advisor. I would like to thank Chris Wolf, CEO at Payson Regional Medical Center and Cory Houghton, Director of Marketing for making this possible. My vision was to see our Senior Circle chapter continue to grow in the spirit it was started and to provide many more opportunities to enrich the lives of our senior adults. When I moved to Payson I could only dream of a position such as mine.

To be able to work with volunteers and wonderful members of our community and actually love going to work is such a pleasure. I have seen friendships flourish and the gift of helping another person is truly gratifying. Yes, I still believe we can make a difference -- one person at a time. I see this happen every day at Senior Circle.

Kathy Coombes has been the Senior Circle Advisor for about two-and-a-half years and a resident of Payson for four years. She brings a background in education administration and banking to her position.

She said she has learned a lot from the senior citizens who use the Senior Circle.

"They have taught me how vital it is to keep active as we grow older and the volunteer work they do for us is a good way to stay active and age gracefully. I have volunteers from the age of 50 to 91. Working here and seeing all these great people has really been a book for me on how to age. Most want to give back. Each of them has a special talent and they are so generous in sharing that with us at the Senior Circle."

Kathy said she has worked to tap the people in the community that would like to get involved, but are not sure how to go about it.

"I talk to them about what their talent is and what they'd like to give back. They may be shy about it, but when they come in they find immediate friendships. The volunteers at our reception desk are so caring with everyone who comes through our door."

She said all the seniors in Payson have a story to tell and if given a chance, most of them want to tell it. The friendships and welcoming atmosphere at the Senior Circle give them an opportunity to share their story and the lessons they have learned in life, as well as their talents.

The Senior Circle program is volunteer- based and we would not exist without our Senior Circle Ambassadors. Payson Senior Circle currently boasts more than 50 active volunteers. Volunteer opportunities are endless, from helping with our newsletter, working at our reception desk and gift shop to participation in parades or helping organize our various classes and events. Every other month we recognized one of our outstanding SC volunteers.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

Each month we would like to recognize a volunteer of distinction. It is only fitting our first volunteer Sue Beckwith be recognized for outstanding service. Luckily for us, Sue has decided to put her energy and love for people in to volunteering at Senior Circle.

Many of you have been greeted in person or on the phone by Sue's cheerfulness and wonderful attitude. Sue exemplifies how attitude can turn your life around. Sue does not recognize her limitations and she never complains -- just smiles and moves on with the next task at hand.

Sue loves to decorate for parties and with her team have made our member lunches beautiful and fun. Sue is a tireless advocate for Senior Circle and no matter where she goes, she has an endless supply of Senior Circle information. Her innovative ideas have increased our enrollment and she is our top cheerleader. Sue not only assists our SC members but will help anybody, anytime in a time of need. She is a beautiful human being, inside and out and once you have met her, you will not forget her.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

This month our Volunteer of the Month is Judi Harman. Judi has been a Senior Circle Ambassador volunteer since May 2005. As a retired Certified Nursing Assistant, Judi has brought her knowledge and compassion to our Circle and has guided many of our seniors in obtaining proper equipment and referrals when needed. Judi manages our Circle Shoppe and has passed on her merchandising expertise in keeping the shop fresh and interesting each month. She spends hours hunting for treasures at garage sales to sell in our gift shop. Judi also leads our Passive Exercise class on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. and has acquired a wonderful loyal group of members. In addition, Judi has taken on the task of entering members in our computer system. Judi is a woman with many talents and we are so grateful she has chosen the Senior Circle as her volunteer choice.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

In the spotlight this newsletter is Darrel Elston. Darrel has been volunteering since April 2006. Prior to moving to Payson, Darrel worked for the Byron Nuclear Plant in Byron, Illinois. He is currently employed at the Mazatzal Casino and still finds time to donate countless hours to Senior Circle. He has brought his carpentry skills as well as his wealth of computer knowledge to our Senior Circle. Darrel has a quiet demeanor but has a dynamite sense of humor and is simply a pleasure to work with. There has not been a chore, large or too small that he has refused, including assembling our new desk in the reception area (nobody told Darrel it was a full day job!).

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

Phyllis Engleman: We have the most wonderful, giving volunteers. It is always hard to choose a volunteer of the month because they all deserve this honor. Phyllis Engleman has been a volunteer since June 2005. Her feisty sense of humor makes Phyllis a joy to work with. As a former banker, Phyllis is the treasurer on our volunteer board and also handles all of our finances from the proceeds of the gift shop, fund raisers and month events with finesse. She insists the money be in perfect order and balances to the penny each week. If we are in a pinch and need an extra hand, Phyllis graciously volunteers extra time and is always willing to help when needed. You will see Phyllis helping serve food at our member lunches, work the 50/50 or raffles at our annual holiday event, help with our fundraisers and virtually helps in all areas. Phyllis also volunteers at the library and has volunteered at the museum. With so many volunteer opportunities in Payson, we are so happy Phyllis has chosen Senior Circle.

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

Francis Lola better known as "Fran the Computer Man" walked into Senior Circle about two years ago and asked to become a member. As we were talking he mentioned that he teaches computers to senior citizens. I got very excited and asked Fran if he would be interested in teaching our Senior Circle members about computers. Without hesitation Fran agreed and our computer classes were born. Fran has been invaluable and his patience and wit have made our computer classes a success. With Fran's help we have moved our computer room and upgraded our computers. Fran has dedicated a great deal of time to our program and our hope is to service as many members as we can and continue to improve our computer classes. We also hope to have one day seminars and make use of our new equipment.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

Senior Circle and the American Cancer Society joined together to offer services in Payson. Payson Senior Circle now has available a large selection of FREE quality wigs, scarves, hats and turbans provided by your American Cancer Society. These free items are available in the Senior Circle medical supply closet. Women in the community undergoing cancer treat may be interested in the ACS Look Good, Feel Better program. We also have two vendors offering services for cancer patients:

GEE WIGZ- TERRI ANGICHIODO Specializing in cranial hair prosthesis, turban, hats. Mastectomy fittings, breast prosthesis, jewelry, much more!

FITTINGS BY NICKIE L.L.C Specializing in lymph edema Certified custom fittings, Jobst, Elvarex, Juzo, BOC Certified for bras, breast forms, medicate provider and some insurances. For more information call 472-9290

Senior Circle is a Satellite Office for the Consumer Education /Consumer Protection office of the Attorney Generals Office

The Arizona Attorney Generals' Community Services Program provides educational programs that focus on consumer fraud, protection of civil and victim's rights.The Community Services program includes Satellite Offices throughout Arizona. These offices provide community-based venues that make it easier for residents to access information on consumer fraud, civil and victim's rights and other topics affecting the most vulnerable members of the community and the general population. Volunteers staff satellite offices, make educational presentations for community groups, distribute educational materials at community events and assist individuals with filing complaints or referrals for assistance. For more information call 472-9290

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