Senior Living February 26 2008

Senior Living 2/26/08

The Senior Center is going to have two more informational meetings concerning the proposed Senior Center Expansion so you can share your ideas and opinions about the project. The times are 2:00 pm on Thursday, February 28th and 10:00 am on Tuesday, March 3rd. One of the main concerns we have heard so far is how are we going to pay for it? At this point we don’t know. But there are several things we do know.

We know there are several realistic possibilities for funding this project through private foundation and government grants. We know the Senior Center will have to adapt and be open to change in order to be relevant and effective in supporting all seniors for the next 25 years. We know we will have to work closely with all of our partners including local government, business, education, medicine and non-profits and we are going to have to have the community’s support and commitment. And, finally, we know that no one will fund just a dream. Funders whether government or foundations want to know what the project looks like, how much it costs and what need it fulfills. So far the center has spent nothing on the proposed expansion except volunteer hours thanks to the in-kind support of our partners. But, realistically, the Senior Center will have to invest some dollars into this project in order to apply for grant funding. The Senior Center has an exciting dream of an active and vibrant center that will better meet the physical, mental and social needs of all seniors. There are risks, and it can be scary (but so is aging) and as it has been said before, “sometimes there is more risk in doing nothing as in doing something”.

Another volunteer opportunity came across my desk from Carrie Ramsey and the Red Cross. The local Red Cross office needs volunteers for just a couple of hours a week to answer phones and address the limited walk-in traffic in order to keep their small office up and running. It is a perfect opportunity to contribute to the community. The Red Cross also offers other volunteer opportunities ranging from clerical and local fundraising all the way up to responding to national disasters. Volunteers can pick and choose as little or as much as they want to participate. If you are interested contact Peggy Johnson at 296-2024. Also with the help of Meals-on-Wheels, the local Red Cross is inviting you to a Saturday “Breakfast for a Great Cause” celebrating Red Cross Month on March 8th from 7:30 – 10:30 at the Senior Center. Here is an opportunity to help support our local American Red Cross.

The Dalles City Police Chief, Jay Waterbury will be the speaker for the Next Chapter Lecture Series at 11:00 on Tuesday March 4th. Jay will be discussing “Safety Concerns, Identity Theft, and Scams – Here in The Dalles?” Come and learn from our Chief of Police what sort of scams have been pulled on the people in our own town. And just a heads up, the next speaker on March 11th will be Debbie Saalseld of the Oregon Dept of Revenue, explaining The Oregon Senior Tax Deferral Program.

On March 4th the Senior Center’s Tuesday Night Music presents Truman Boler. I believe this is his first time performing at the Senior Center but he has been a regular performer in the area and plays fine danceable music. The weather is getting nicer and it is staying light longer, so come on down and so you can get up and dance. All ages are welcome! And tonight the Jazz Generations” will be playing.

Spring is just around the corner and to celebrate Skip Tschanz has volunteered to lead a Wildflower Walk along Catherine Creek in Washington. Skip will take you on the easily accessible paved path with beautiful views of the Gorge and sprouting wildflowers. If you can comfortably walk eight blocks you should be able to handle this hike. We will car pool from the Senior Center at 1:00 on March 3rd and the hike should last about two hours. Call Skip for more information at 541-296-4837.

Many of you, who receive social security, veteran’s pensions, etc., do not normally need to file income tax return, but this year you may want to. In order to receive a check from the federal government as part of the Economic Stimulus Package you will need to file a simple income tax return. If you need help the AARP Tax Aide program is available from 4:00 – 6:30 pm on Fridays and 9:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturdays through April 12th in the basement of the Senior Center.

Just another reminder in case you missed it, Gateway Presbyterian Church is putting on a “Family Health Seminar” on Saturday March 1 from 9:00- 3:00. Speakers will cover many important topics including Healthcare Equipment, Home Health, Hospice, End of Live Decisions, Healthy Eating and Dealing with Grief . The cost including a spaghetti lunch is only $5 for an individual or $7 for a family. For more information call 541-298-8531.

Well that is another week and I was able to avoid the temptation to babble philosophically. But who knows what will spout forth in future columns. Until we meet again, keep your eyes open.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

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