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Senior Center and Granny’s Closet Have Growing Pains

Fresh Salad and Stews were served at a recent Community Dinner and hosted by the GV District Library. Photo by Janet Juroch

Garden Valley – A recent Senior Center Board meeting was held last November 14 at the Senior Center activity room. Members of the Board are Pam Sprague – Chairman, Eileen Brail is Vice Chair, Candis Donict – Secretary, Marilyn Taylor – Treasurer, and Sheila Schoettger, Eileen Brail and Melody Lowe.  Absent from the meeting were Brail and Lowe. Several people attended to ask questions of the Board about the future of the Senior Center. Visitors were John and Marilyn Cottingham, Carol Smith, Julie Hutchcroft and Janet Juroch.

The Board reported on their usual items and reports at the beginning.  It was discussed by the Treasurer that donations from Granny’s Closet are designated to be a 50/50 split. This means that 50% the thrift store proceeds goes out into the community to help other 501’s, and the Garden Valley School.  The Senior Center gets 50% for operational items, for improvements, paying operating costs, upgrading equipment, etc.  Costs for utilities and snow removal in the winter have increased significantly.

Georgianna Goestch will be taking on the Senior Center kitchen certificate to continue dinners at the center, including trying out a once a month lunch during the winter months. Georgianna said to the Board, “I would be honored and thank that you would trust me in your kitchen, because it is a big deal serving the public. Historically I have done that professionally.”  She will start by taking the food handlers test. The Board assured Georgianna she would have lots of help. Georgianna wants the kitchen to be under her direction with maintenance and cleanliness to be of high importance. 

Georgianna Goetsch, left, with GVSC Chairman Pam Sprague. Photo by Janet Juroch

December 19th Is the next Community Dinner of ham, potatoes, salad and rolls with some sort of dessert.  In January and February, a lunch would be served on the 3rd Tuesday of the month instead of a dinner. These changes will accommodate the winter weather and early night fall.  Successful lunches might encourage more through the year.

A schedule will be set up for meals around the first of the year. Georgianna is open to facilitating other luncheon meetings. The board suggested door prizes just by attending lunch. BINGO or some other activity afterwards was discussed, once they get a lunch program established.

Discussion of an advertising program would be needed for communication of what is going on at the center and the times. There would be the newspaper, social media and radio with people stepping up to offer to help with that. Janet Juroch offered to help with Facebook and other forms of communication. A website might be necessary as time goes by and there are more activities. The Board and Georgianna were receptive to getting help for better communications.

The board addressed the growth of Granny’s Closet and looking for answers. The Board and members may look at alternatives to grow, including the space where the gardens are at or adding onto the building. The thrift store is busting at the seams and is trying to figure out how to handle working with larger furniture items. To keep the dining room open for activities, the store and the Senior Center agreed to “work cooperatively.”

Donicht mentioned looking into portable divider walls for the purpose of concealing the furniture items currently encroaching into the dining room space. Donicht stated, “I am opposed to framing in any more walls as it is necessary to preserve the dining area and be able to set up for 70.”  Portable walls could help to conceal an area during the sorting times, too. Member Schoettger suggested that decorating the dining area would make it more inviting.

Chairman Sprague would appreciate questions and concerns be directed to the Board at the meetings where they can be discussed. Senior Center members and everyone in the community are always welcome to come to the meetings. There are many ways people can be a part of creating a thriving Senior Center in Garden Valley. Meetings are the the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 9:30am.   Remember… “Aging is for wine and cheese”.

Written by Janet Juroch

3 Comments on Senior Center and Granny’s Closet Have Growing Pains

  1. Good suggestions Rich and Kathy!

  2. Granny’s has been so successful that it has outgrown available space in the Senior Center. This volunteer run thrift shop desperately needs a place to work and a place to store donations, but this should not include taking over more space in the Senior Center. The Senior Center needs to initiate programs including nutritional that requires adequate space. Granny’s needs a building to contain its growth, and there is space for such in the lot the Senior’s own across the road. Because of the service Granny’s provides to the community it needs to be allowed to grow, and having its own building is the solution. They also have the money to do this.

  3. Thank you. This sounds like the start of a solution for the Center’s usage. Lunch instead of dinner
    may be a good way to introduce folks to get back to , or start using the center. Perhaps getting
    card playing , cribbage, domino playing groups after lunch would be good too
    . Just keep the coffee and cookies available for snacks.
    It’s a start and let’s help it work!

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