Since its humble beginnings at Nan Pyle’s Girl Scout Camp in the 1970s, the Senior Center has been serving senior citizens in the Rim Country. Today, it has its own facility — which served the community in the past as a skating rink, a bowling alley and the post office. There is a large dining room, commercial kitchen, meeting room, a multi-purpose room upstairs and a thrift store.
What the Center does
The Center is here to help seniors of the Rim Country live a more active, healthy life with a variety of programs to meet their needs. Its three primary programs are the Meals on Wheels program, the Dial-A-Ride program and lunch at the Center.
Its volunteers and employees do so much more than the task at hand. They genuinely care for the area’s seniors. They become their friends, they visit them in the hospital, assist people in a variety of ways outside work, make special gifts for the Center’s clients, and give comfort for those who need it.
The Meals on Wheels program is for seniors and disabled who have difficulty with preparing meals. Some of the clients are with the program on a short-term basis while they are recuperating from a health issue, others are with it long term.
The program delivers about 140 lunch meals Monday through Friday. Certified nutritionists approve the menus and make sure every meal meets one-third of the daily nutritional requirements.
The delivery staff members do a visual wellness check when they drop off the meal. The Senior Center staff and volunteers do everything they can to reach out to people who need this program and to watch out for clients in this program.
The Dial-A-Ride program is primarily for people 60 and older, although it will take people with certain disabilities that are under 60 or are temporarily restricted from driving because of a health issue. This service is provided Monday through Friday. The 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.
The Center’s lunch program offers good food, friendship and fun Monday through Friday.
Anne James and friends are usually at the Center on Tuesdays and the Country Gospel Misfits are here every other Wednesday. A variety of speakers present programs before lunch and special events are sprinkled through the year.
Some ongoing activities provided at the Senior Center:
• Movie & Muffin every Friday
morning with great movies,
great muffins and it is free
• A variety of card games after
lunch each day
• Woodworking on Thursdays
• Bingo once a month
• The opportunity to sing and
dance with The Old Time
Music Makers Monday
• Stretchercize Tuesday and
• Bible study Wednesday
How the Center is funded
Many think the Senior Center is 100 percent funded by the government and owned by the Town of Payson. This is not true. Only a portion of its 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, the Center must rely more and more on donations, fund-raisers and its thrift store to sustain and hopefully expand the much-needed programs.
How to help
Become a member. If you are 50-plus, you can be a member. The annual fee is $10.
Shop and donate to the thrift store. The thrift store generates about 25 percent of the Center’s gross revenue. The net proceeds go directly to fund the Meals on Wheels and Dial-A-Ride programs. Volunteers will pick up larger items.
Rent the facility for a special event. The facility can accommodate 150 to 180 people. It has had weddings, memorial services, birthday parties, private holiday parties, workshops, teas and fund-raisers for other nonprofits. The prices are very reasonable and the Center’s kitchen can cater the event.
Donate — the Senior Center is a nonprofit and certified under the Working Poor Tax Credit program, so a donation may give a tax credit for Arizona and will give a charitable donation deduction. Think of the Center when looking for a worthwhile charity to donate to, to put in your will, to tell people about.
Volunteer — volunteers make it possible to continue the programs. They are the life-line of the organization.
Lots to look forward to
You don’t have to be a member or a senior to enjoy the events at the Center. Coming up is the Celtic Ceilidh presented by the Rim Country Celts on Jan. 28; The History of Main Street, Feb. 9; the benefit Zumbathon for the Christian Clinic, Feb. 11.
Country Western dance classes by instructor Bob Hughes start Feb. 2.
The Payson Senior Center is located at 514 W. Main St., to learn more, call (928) 474-4876.