Senior Living September 2, 2008

There are many ways to support your community and the agencies and organizations that make it strong. One such way is through your local United Way. I support United Way because I personally experienced the importance of United Way funding. In the mid 80’s I was director of The Dalles Child Care Center which was working hard to meet the need for quality child care at a price working families could afford. But the recession hit, the aluminum plant closed and United Way funding shrank. Consequently, their reduced support was the tipping point that forced the childcare center to close. Those were difficult times for the community and United Way.

Today there is a much brighter future. Your local United Way is strong and active because of the diligent work of good people who kept the United Way spirit alive. It has merged with Hood River, Klickitat and Skamania counties to form the United Way of the Columbia Gorge which has created several benefits including reducing administrative expenses to where over 93% of the money raised is invested in local programs. With the hard work of volunteers and the support of individuals and businesses during this last year’s campaign, Wasco County reached their goal of raising $55,000 for local organizations, an increase from $16,000 raised just a few years ago. That is great news for all the valuable programs that United Way helps including several programs supporting seniors: Meals-on-Wheels, Pioneer Potlatch, Hospice of the Gorge and Visiting Health Services.

To kick-off this year’s United Way Campaign while celebrating last year’s success, you are invited to enjoy a free hot dog, chips and drink. You will find those hot dogs roaming around The Dalles Chronicle parking lot between 12:00 and 2:00 on Wednesday September 10th. We will be glad to catch one for you while you learn how United Way helps make our community stronger.

Because of the great response to see “Menopause: The Musical”, the Senior Center has purchased twenty four tickets for the 2:00 matinee performance on Sunday, September 28th. The bus will leave the Senior Center at 11:30 and have you back by 6:30. The cost is $65 including transportation. Call the center soon because there are already 14 people signed up for the show. The Senior Center number is 296-4788.

The Notecrackers will be back to perform at the Senior Center’s Tuesday Night Music and Dance on September 9th. They are great folks as well as musicians and really enjoy playing for the over 50 crowd. They feature danceable tunes from the 20’s through the 60’s — vintage music that’ll bring back memories. And performing tonight will be Harold and several of his jamming Friends including Gordon, Norma, Marla, Dave and Mike. They are all coming back for an encore performance playing country flavored sounds that will pull you to the dance floor. I also would like to thank all the jammers who play at the Senior Center every fifth Sunday of the month and all the fine folks who come out to listen and dance. Everbody has a great time and the donations from the pie and coffee help support the work of the Senior Center.

Last week I mentioned several new activities that will be starting this fall at the Senior Center. Unfortunately, I gave the wrong time and date for the Holiday Card Making class taught by Joyce Browne. The first class will be on September 18th at 2:30 and will repeat on Thursday October 16th. The only cost will be for the materials which will be available for purchase from Joyce. You will need to register for the class by calling the Senior Center. This is your chance to create unique cards for your special friends and family in time for the holidays.

But this week I want to mention the classes that are returning from their summer hiatus starting the week of September 8th.

NEXT CHAPTER LECTURE SERIES – Every Tuesday 11:00 – 12:00 starting September 9th
Learn something new that will stretch your mind and impress your friends by attending these informative lectures on subjects ranging from local history to health care.

STRONG WOMEN – every Monday and Wednesday 2:00 – 3:00 Starting September 8th Instructor: Fern Wilcox If you enjoy a good dose of laughter while exercising, this is the class for you. Come and find out why this class has grown to over thirty women.

BASIC COMPUTER CLASS – Every Monday or Wednesday from 10:30 – 11:30 starting September 8th and September 10th. Instructors: Laurie Fadness on Monday and Richard Lyon on Wednesday. Each class meets every Monday or Wednesday of the month and covers beginning topics such as how to turn on and off the computer, how to use a mouse and how to get on the Internet. These classes are limited to five persons and you will need to sign up by calling the Senior Center.

COMPUTER HELP LAB – every Tuesday 1:45 – 3:00 starting September 23rd. Instructor: Corliss Marsh Get your basic questions about your computer or software programs answered in this drop-in help lab.

The Next Chapter Lecture Series which is starting on Tuesday, September 9th at 11:00 will feature Jim Bishop of Westcorp Mortgage returning to talk about Reverse Mortgages. Even though Reverse Mortgages are controversial, the AARP and other senior advocates suggest that in certain situations they are a useful tool to help seniors stay in their homes longer. Come to this presentation and find out if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

That is it again. But since it is a holiday my trusted “corrector”, Zelta is not here. So I am on my own which is not good. Until we meet again, be kind to those who make mistakes because “to error is only human” and some of us are more human that others.

“Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her,’I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug’. She got up unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.”

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