2012-06-21 / Community

Senior Center

Where did the last five years go? On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the Center will be asking for your support on passing 0.4697 mills. $0.4697 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation for the period of five years, 2013-2017 inclusive. For example, a home with a taxable value of $50,000 would be charged $23.49 per year.

If you are in need of a ride to the polls or would like an absentee ballot feel free to contact the Center at 341-5923. Volunteers will make the arrangements.

Most of us donate that amount per year to a good cause, and the Senior Center is one of the finest examples of a good cause in the local area. Examples of other similarly sized towns in the U.P. are Baraga, which receives 1 mill and Ontonagon at .80 mill. As you can see, we are trying our best to keep our request very minimal. Sixtyone of the 83 counties in Michigan received millage for their senior centers in 2007 and I am sure the count has increased. With the funding for services getting smaller and smaller the pressure to run a millage has become very important to senior centers.

The Manistique Senior Center is one of only three centers in the U.P. which is not owned and run by another governmental agency. I think it speaks volumes about the support we receive locally, especially for such a small town.

If the Senior Center were to be owned by another agency in another county, it would become a satellite of that county, and Senior Center staff would very likely be directed to “float” among various sites. This means the loss on a fulltime basis of the only center-based staff the Center now has.

The Senior Center has two boards. The Manistique Senior Center Board whose sole responsibility is to maintain the building and oversee activities. The Schoolcraft County Commission on Aging Board oversees all the funding generated from the millage, along with the unit based rate funding received from the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP) in the amount of $25,210. (This amount has decreased by $3,577.50 over the past five years.) The $25, 210 must be used to provide services for the elderly, with only 15 percent allowed for administrative costs. A breakdown of the $25,210 is as follows:

• $5,146 for Long-Distance Medical Transportation

• $20,064 for Homemaker Aide Services

UPCAP funding is only received “after” the services have been provided. These are only estimates, as there is no way of knowing ahead of time how many hours of service or how many medical transports will need to be provided throughout the year.

Our staff is very minimal, with Carol Ford, along with me in the office and three part-time Homemaker

Aides going into the homes (Tina Syers, Marci DesJarden and Terri Muth). Vera Cones also works part-time under a Michigan Works program.

In the past the Senior Center had received $10,000 from the county. However, due to the county’s budget restraints, we no longer receive this funding.

We are not asking for an increase, we are asking for a “renewal” of 0.4697 mills for the next five years, 2013-2017. This millage rate is less than the rate of .50 mills which was approved by voters in 2003. I will try to highlight some of services that seem to be the most requested.

Let’s start with our Long-Distance Medical Transportation Program. This is a program where we have “volunteers” drive elders to medical appointments such as Escanaba, Marquette, etc. They also bring elders into Manistique for medical appointments from outlying areas such as Germfask, etc.

The drivers drove 24,336 miles for 2011 and volunteered a total of 821 1/2 hours. (They only receive mileage.) There are no words to describe the “hearts” these drivers have. They are the most patient, kind hearted, thoughtful, generous, special people and one of the “largest” assets the Center could ever have. A big thank you does not justify what these volunteers have contributed to the Center.

If you need a medical ride out of town and don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, give the Center a call and we will make the connections. We ask, if at all possible, that you give a donation towards the program which allows us to do more medical runs.

We all know there comes a time, and age, where it becomes difficult to push a vacuum or mop a floor, or even to change bed linens. We have three part-time employees who go into the homes of elder to assist with housekeeping chores. This is called our “Homemaker Aide” services. They are there to assist you to try to keep you in your home longer at your later years. They mop, do general cleaning of the bathroom and kitchen, vacuum, etc. The goal is to do the harder tasks leaving the lighter ones for you, such as dusting, etc.

Our staff goes into each home for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours every other week. Weekly appointments are scheduled for those needing the extra help. A donation is asked, and if you are able to give one, it is put towards more services. Some paperwork is necessary. If you are interested, give the Center a call at 341-5923.

If you are in need of medical equipment, the Center has a Medical Loan Closet, allowing wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, strollators, over the bed tables, etc. to be loaned out for six months at a time for a donation of $5. You may keep the equipment longer if necessary with a renewal.

Homestead Tax, Rental and Heating Credits are completed by staff for those that no longer have to file state or federal returns. Other services include, foot care, blood pressure, hearing aide, and flu shot clinics, food distributions, etc.

We also lease the kitchen to CAA to provide the Noon Meal and Home-Delivered Meals.

Activities come in a huge assortment. One day and overnight bus trips, assorted card playing, bingo, annual Christmas party, open house, hotdog roast, exercise groups, creative writing, monthly potlucks, etc. We are always open to suggestions.

All in all, it is a very busy Center which is utilized by many in the community. Please, please, please take the time to vote! Your support is greatly appreciated! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at work 341-5923 or at home 283-3224 or 286-3347. Hopefully, I will be able to answer your questions.

Can you help us out? This will be the first year in a long time which I will be out of town for the Fourth of July. My sister has invited me to her new home in Three Rivers, Mich. Because of this, I am looking for someone to supervise our part in the Fourth of July Parade. We need someone who has a truck that we can put the tail gate down and let a couple of workers sit in the back and keep stocking the bags of candy for those walking, as it is needed. We are also looking for volunteer walkers to throw candy, as we can’t give candy from a moving vehicle. If you are able to help us out, please give the Center a call at 341-5923. My cell phone is (906) 286-3347.

We are also looking for donations of candy. If you would like to donate, it can be dropped off at the Center Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. We all know how the little parade watchers look forward to getting “treats.”

Call a friend, or maybe two, and invite them to our next monthly potluck, which is scheduled for today (Thursday, June 21). Entertainment for the evening is Darrell Dixon. Entertainment will run from 4–5 p.m., with dinner following.

Our most recent potlucks have been growing and we have had some “yummy” food. It is a nice evening of socializing and laughter. If you are interested in playing cards or board games following the potluck you are more than welcome to.

We recently received word that Evelyn “Evie” Lukasiewicz passed away. She was very active at the Center and had made many friends. Due to this, I thought I would share her daughters address for those wanting to send a card. Terri Liddle, 105 Country Club Road, Roxboro, NC 27574-7448.

We have received several calls recently asking about the CAA food distributions. I felt bad I couldn’t assist, but that is a program of Community Action Agency. When needing information, I have been referring you to their local office, 341-2452. I just found out the office will be closed until July 9, therefore, if you need information please call their Escanaba headquarters at (800) 562-9136. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The Senior Companion Program will be meeting at the Center on Friday, June 22, at 10:30 a.m.

Monetary donations were received in memory of:

• Ken Thorell from Wes and Arleen Turan, Edith Greene, Leonard and Mary LaFleur, Sally Schuetter and Bill Pawley

• Irene Burley from Edith Greene

• “Aunt” Irene Burley from Susan Slining and family.

Monetary donations were received from Romayne Dewey and Laura Lee Tegtman.

BRIDGE June 11: 1st-Eris Webb, 2nd-Joyce Lesica, 3rd-Julie Hoholik, 4th-Larry Savoie, 5th- Lois Bellville, CFC-Judy Rodgers. Hostess Barb O’Conner served strawberry rhubarb dessert, mixed nuts and chips.

BRIDGE June 15: 1st-Joyce Lesica, 2nd-Helen Barton, 3rd- Judy Rodgers, 4th-Barb O’Conner, CFC-Mary Ann Thorell. Hostess Doris Demers served strawberry rhubarb dessert, cracker chips and M & M’s.

DUPLICATE BRIDGE June 13: 1st-Joyce LaTulip and Pat Flint, 2nd-Nancy Brown and Judy Rodgers, 3rd-Carol Leny and Bev Jahn, 4th-Eva Wendling and George Lowman.

PINOCHLE June 12: 1st-Peggy Beckman, 2nd-Carl Sundling, 3rd-Pat Clark, Should’a Stayed Home-Perry Wise.

500 June 15: 1st-Cathy Wise, 2nd-Marie Sellman, 3rd-Don’a Nelson, Should’a Stayed Home- Perry Wise.

Birthdays this week: June 25-Vonciel LeDuc, June 27-Harry Hastings, June 28-Ray Swanson and Pat Flint, and on June 29-Clifford Demers.

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