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Partnerships! They’re Where It’s At!!

Written By: Kate Joyce, , Kate's Corner

People NEED to live in places they cherish…. and we live in the BEST COMMUNITY!! Let me tell you what happened for the Shawnee Senior Center… Sit back and check this out!

I don’t know when the last time you were in the senior center, but we have been worrying about how we were going to replace our carpet for a couple of years now. Enter Daniel Shaughnessy of ShawneeCTV. You know him, right? Daniel’s specialty is relationship building between community partners – at least that was what I saw happen. He asked me the ol’ “if you could have one wish” thing and I said new flooring!

We made a video, highlighting the floor and stains… it was kindof embarrassing but I guess you have to show yourself, warts and all if you want help. Then we had a meeting with Chris Clark who is the president of Shawnee’s ARVEST Banks. Chris could see our need and offered to present our project to the ARVEST Foundation. Our project was presented and awarded a $15,000 grant. The full cost of the project (after furniture moving etc…) will be close to $30,000 and thanks to ARVEST Foundation, we are halfway to our goal!

In the process of working with Daniel, I have met some wonderful people. Central Oklahoma Economic Development District (you might know them better as COEDD) is the host agency for a fabulous senior service agency called Area Agency on Aging (AAA). They publish a Senior Resource Book, bi-annually, that offers addresses and phone numbers for senior centers, nutrition programs, legal aid, and so much more. It’s a valuable reference tool for professionals to direct citizens for services over a seven (7) county area that includes Pottawatomie County. And they have agreed to help us with our carpet project, too! So we are about two-thirds of the way to the finish line.

Our Aging Office is located at 400 N. Bell St. on the West side of the Municipal Auditorium. Very convenient for us to access information. In those offices they offer support and assistance for Respite Services for caregivers, an Ombudsman Program, and they can assist seniors in identifying a Medicare Part D program. They offer grant opportunities that helps to support senior centers. We receive a grant for Health Promotion that supports our fitness program. And we’ve been getting this support for eight years…I think. And there are also programs for senior nutrition. They are some very busy people! I would tell you their names, but I should ask them first. I’ll save that for the next time.

So yes, we still have a few irons in the fire to find that last third – but I have faith that it will come together. Maybe you know someone, or maybe you and your neighbors would be interested in helping complete this magnificent project? My Mum (HI, ELLIE), told me that people want to help, all you need to do is ask.

The Shawnee Senior Center is a special place. People, 50 years of age and “Better” are able to eat breakfast for no charge and lunch is only $2. We also provide scholarships for our seniors who need assistance and don’t turn people away from lunch. There are fitness classes, quilting, C&W Music and Dancing with the Storytime Band, Gospel Singing, Crocheting, card games and billiards. We also host civic groups and community meetings. There’s a lot of entertainment going on and we’d be happy to show you around if you haven’t been to see us yet! Shawnee Senior Center (Where you only have to 50 or “better” to play!), 401 N. Bell Street, attached to the East end of the Municipal Auditorium. I hope you join Mike Askins and I when we will be chatting on KGFF, FM100.9. Wednesday morning at 8:35. So until then…See you at the center!

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