senior center awarded

AZ Business Angels recently honored the Payson Senior Center as a finalist for best nonprofit of the year. There were more than 100 nominees submitted and the Payson Senior Center was in the top five.

The Payson Senior Center was recently nominated for the AZ Business Angel best nonprofit of the year.

It was a finalist for best nonprofit in the service group category and received 30 nominations. Those making the nomination had to write a short essay as to why they felt the center deserved the honor. There were more than 100 nominees and the Payson Senior Center made the top five.

Flagstaff Shelter Services won the award and the other finalists were Gabriel’s Angels, Habitat for Humanity, and St. Vincent de Paul.

The presentation was made Thursday, Nov. 7 at Chateaux Luxe in Phoenix. This was the first AZ Business Angels Awards.

“The goal of this event is to engage the nonprofit leaders of Arizona in order to learn more about their missions, the causes they support and the people who work tirelessly to serve them,” said Josh Schimmels, publisher of AZ Big Media and creator of the awards program.

Next for the centerAs the year comes to a close, next on the agenda for the Payson Senior Center, 514 W. Main St., is its campaign to raise funds for its Meals on Wheels and Senior Transportation programs, along with the other activities it offers the area’s elderly.

The center has served more than 35,000 meals this year through both its in-house and Meals on Wheels programs. Since 2000 it has served more than 600,000 meals and have made 115,000 trips.

On average the center serves 135 homebound and hosts 35 to 40 seniors at the center lunches Monday through Thursday.

Senior Transportation is a door-to-door service that takes seniors to medical appointments, grocery shopping and more. The service made more than 7,000 door-to-door trips this year. The service is offered in Payson Monday and Thursday and in Star Valley on Wednesdays.

Nearly 300 of the area’s elderly are members of the Payson Senior Center. It has several programs in addition to the meal and transportation services, all of which need financial support to continue.

Its Forget Me Not Dementia Support Group meets at 1:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesday providing caregivers with much-needed support and rest. As part of this program, the center has a respite program available.

The center offers 15 exercise classes throughout the week.

The Payson Senior Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Staff applies for government funding and grants when available, however, the majority of its funding comes from individuals and its Trinkets & Treasures thrift store. In fact, Trinkets & Treasures is responsible for 30 percent of the center’s funding.

The center needs $150,000 to meet its budget for this year’s programs.

The Arizona state tax credit program is another main source of the center’s funding. People can donate by mail, online at, or can call 928-474-4876 to use their debit or credit cards.

Another way to helpChris Dock with Watermark Strategies Inc. of Payson, and a member of the center’s board of directors, offered information on another way to help the facility by donating your Required Minimum Distribution to the Payson Senior Center.

If you are age 70-½ or older and you have money in an IRA, the government requires you to take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) each year using a formula based on your account balance at the end of the prior year divided by a calculation of your estimated life expectancy. Basically, the IRS has not taxed you on your IRA until this point, but they feel they have waited long enough and it’s time for you to start taking distributions so they can receive their cut.

If you are receiving your RMD from your IRA directly and are also making personal donations to the Senior Center, you may be missing out on an opportunity to reduce your tax obligations.

When you file your tax return, your Standard Deduction in 2019 will be $12,200 for single filers and $24,400 for joint filers. Because of these increased Standard Deduction levels, many people no longer itemize their deductions and thus lose the benefit of the tax deduction for their donation.

There is a way around this — it’s called a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). This allows you to have your RMD processed as a direct distribution to the Senior Center. When you use this process, you are not taxed on the distribution since you never personally received the money. This may also benefit you on the tax treatment of your Social Security benefits since it reduces the amount of taxable income you need to report to the IRS.

There is a catch — you can only donate up to $100,000 of your RMD through the QCD process. And if your RMD is more than $100,000 — congratulations — that must mean you have a very large balance in your IRA, which is not a bad problem to have.

As we near the end of the year, please consider utilizing the QCD option to donate your RMD (or a portion of it) to the Payson Senior Center.

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