Aging Well in the Gorge October 20th 2015

You may have received the Center’s request for financial help to finish the Center’s UpLifting Elevator Campaign. And with the request, I thought it might be a good time to provide an update as to where the Center is on the project.   
The good news is we are two thirds of the way to reaching the goal of $380,000. Thanks to the hundreds of local donations from individuals and businesses (including a generous anonymous donation of $50,000), the Center has in the bank $121,000. And with the $115,000 grant from The Ford Family Foundation, a $10,000 PUD grant, and a $5,000 MCMC Foundation Grant, a total of $251,000 has been raised – which is impressive. We have also applied for two smaller grants, and will hear if they are successful in November.
But there is still a gap to be filled. Over the last three years with the improving economy and inflation the cost of installing an elevator has grown to our best guess of $380,000 – which leaves a gap of $129,000. And before the cost increases any further, we would like to wrap this campaign up for good by the end of the year.
Every contribution helps – none is too small or too large. We appreciate all you have given in the past which has made it possible to secure the grants we have received so far. But if you can dig down in your pockets a little further for the first, second or third time, we can bring this project to completion.
But why is the elevator important? Over the last several years, the downstairs has been improved, thanks to many volunteers, and the use has increased significantly. Downstairs you’ll find the Quilters on Monday; Tai Chi and Foot Care on Tuesdays; Yoga, Zumba Gold, Table Tennis and Strong Women on Tuesdays and Thursdays; SHIBA (Medicare Counseling) on Wednesdays; and the Easy Writers on Friday. Plus the Center’s popular Medical Equipment Loan Closet is downstairs as well as AARP Tax Aide from February through April. And with easy and safe access to the downstairs, there are even more possibilities.
The elevator will be located near the northwest corner of the Center where the Nu-2-U Shop is currently located and drop down to the small foyer downstairs next to the door at the bottom of the exterior steps. This will require little change downstairs, but upstairs the Nu-2-U Shop, lounge and the reception area will be reconfigured. And for the cold, blustery winter days, the walkway in front of the building and the exterior stairs will be enclosed, so folks won’t have to deal with icy, snowy steps when walking downstairs.
But take a minute to imagine if you used a cane or crutches; or a walker or wheelchair, how difficult it would be to access the downstairs activities. And unless you are one of the lucky ones, you will probably need to use one of those devices – at least temporarily.
There is a reason why most multiple story buildings have an elevator – whether it’s the Courthouse or Fred Meyer. Isn’t it about time the Center also has an elevator so everyone can have the opportunity to enjoy all that the Center has to offer?
Don’t forget Nehemiah Brown will be at the Center this Friday the 23rd from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Besides having a beautiful voice, he is also a great entertainer. The cost is still only $3.00 per person thanks to our sponsor: The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center.
For Tuesday Night Music and Dance at the Center on October 27th, Our Way will be performing. The doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, all ages are welcome and donations are appreciated.
Although Charles Atlas might have been my first guess, Jack LaLanne was the American fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert, who had his own television show from 1953 – 1985. (And the winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Esther Nygaard.)
Did you ever have the dream of finding adventure traveling across the back roads of America in a 1961 corvette convertible? That was the basic plot of what television series starring Martin Milner and George Maharis that aired from 1960 through 1964 on Friday nights? Email your answer to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a map of the Will Rogers Memorial Highway.

Well, it’s been another week trying to act my age – once I figure what that age is. Until we meet again, sometimes you just have to fake it til you make it.