Happenings At The Senior Center

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Since our humble beginnings at Nan Pyle’s Girl Scout Camp in the ’70s, our organization has been serving seniors in the Rim Country area. Today, we have our own facility that was formerly a skating rink, a bowling alley and the Post Office. We have a large dining room, commercial kitchen, meeting room, a multipurpose room upstairs and a Thrift Store.

What do we do? We are here to help seniors of the Rim Country live a more active, healthy life with a variety of programs to meet their needs. Our three primary programs are the Meals On Wheels program, the Dial-A-Ride program and lunch at the Center. Our volunteers and employees do so much more than the task at hand. They genuinely care for our seniors. They become their friends, they visit in the hospital, assist people in a variety of ways outside work, make special gifts for our clients, and give comfort for those who need it.

Our Meals On Wheels program is for seniors and disabled who have difficulty with preparing meals. Some of our clients are short term while they are recuperating from a health issue, others are with us long term. We deliver about 140 lunch meals Monday through Friday. Every meal meets 1/3 of the daily nutritional requirements and the menus are approved by certified nutritionists. We do a visual wellness check when we drop off the meal to our client. The Senior Center does everything we can to reach out to people who need this program and to watch out for our dear clients in this program.

Our Dial-A-Ride program is primarily for people 60 and over, although we do take people with certain disabilities that are under 60 or are temporarily restricted from driving because of a health issue. We provide this service Monday through Friday. Our goal is to give independence to those who no longer drive or do not have a vehicle so they can get out and about without having to rely on family and friends.

Our Center’s lunch program offers good food, friendship and fun Monday through Friday. Ann James & friends are usually there on Tuesdays and the Country Gospel Misfits are there every other Wednesday. We have a variety of speakers that come before lunch and special events sprinkled through the year that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.

Some ongoing activities we provide: Movie & Muffin every Friday morning, great movies, great muffins and it is free; a variety of card games after lunch each day, woodworking on Thursdays, Bingo once a month, sing and dance with The Old Time Music Makers Monday mornings, Stretchercize Tuesday & Thursday mornings, and Bible Study Wednesday mornings. There is much more going on, so come by or call to see what is happening.

How are we funded? Many think we are 100 percent funded by the government and owned by the Town of Payson. This is not true. Only a portion of our budget comes from government agencies including the Town of Payson and the Town of Star Valley. As government continues to cut back funding each year, we must rely more and more on donations, fund-raisers and our Thrift Store to sustain and hopefully expand our much needed programs

How can YOU help? Become a MEMBER. If you are 50-plus, you can be a member. The annual fee is $10. We have lots of benefits to offer and more to come. Stay tuned.

SHOP and DONATE to our THRIFT STORE. Our thrift store generates about 25 percent of our gross revenue. The net proceeds go directly to fund the Meals on Wheels and Dial-A-Ride programs. We will pick up your larger items and we are always looking for furniture and working appliances. Moving or have to empty a home? Call us.

RENT OUR FACILITY for your special event. Our facility can accommodate 150 to 180 people. We have had weddings, memorial services, birthday parties, private holiday parties, workshops, teas and fund-raisers for other nonprofits at our facility. Our prices are very reasonable and we can cater the event. We do what we can to make your event memorable.

DONATE. We are a nonprofit and certified under the Working Poor Tax Credit program, so your donation may give you a tax credit for Arizona and will give you a charitable donation deduction. Think of us when you are looking for a worthwhile charity to donate to, to put in your will, to tell people about. Our programs are vital to many seniors in our community and donations are vital to our ability to provide these services.

VOLUNTEER. Our volunteers make it possible for us to continue our programs. They are the lifeline of our organization. We have many things for volunteers to do, so let us know what your interests are.

LOTS OF THINGS ON THE SCHEDULE TO LOOK FORWARD TO: You don’t have to be a member or a senior to enjoy the events at our center. Coming up is the CELTIC CAELIDH Jan. 28, The HISTORY OF MAIN STREET Feb. 9, the ZUMABATHON Feb. 11. Country Western Dance Classes by instructor Bob Hughes start Feb. 2 — learn the two-step, line dances and the bump, bump.

There are so many who have helped us and continue to help us. We are blessed every day with kindnesses from so many in this community. We GIVE A HEARTFELT THANKS to our volunteers past and present who, through their compassion and dedication have defined us, and our many donors whose generosity has sustained our programs. A very special thanks to the Town of Payson who has given us many grants to keep our facility functioning; the most recent grant for heating and cooling so we do stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We truly appreciate EVERYONE who has helped our Center and our seniors.

The Payson Senior Center is located at 514 W. Main St. Phone: (928) 474-4876.

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