Moffat County seniors riding high with new chairs, increased funding | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County seniors riding high with new chairs, increased funding

Members of the Senior Social Center sit comfortably in their new chairs at their regular monthly meeting Monday. The chairs were donated by Frank and Kerry Moe, owners of Best Western Deer Park Inn & Suites, and Brookline Furniture.

— Moffat County's seniors are sitting pretty as the Senior Social Center, still in its first year, continues to grow and thrive. The center recently received an unexpected donation of 60 much-needed chairs and learned Monday that it will receive continued funding from the Area Agency on Aging in the form of a $25,000 grant for its second year.

The chairs were donated by Frank and Kerry Moe, owners of Best Western Deer Park Inn & Suites, and manufacturer Brookline Furniture. The Moes ordered the chairs but received the wrong ones, which prompted Brookline to request that they be donated to a local nonprofit rather than being shipped back.

"We were just getting ready to spend $3,000 to $5,000 on chairs and that gives us money towards different things we want to purchase," said Kathy Fagan, president of the Senior Social Center board. "The generosity has been overwhelming. We had people from BLM help us unload and store them."

Seniors gave them a test run Monday at their regular monthly meeting. The organization is now up to 83 members, with the goal of reaching 300 by the time it turns a year old in September.

The funding the center is slated to receive from the AAA for its second year is $5,000 more than its original grant of $20,000 last year, which the organization used to get off the ground.

"We were responsible with our money, we were able to show growth and we had a logical plan for being able to implement things," Fagan said. "What that's going to allow is for us to continue to grow."

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Board member Kelly Nottingham said the money would allow the center to hire a part-time coordinator and would also support educational programs for the next year, such as cooking classes.

The Senior Social Center also recently signed up to participate in the City Market rewards program, which sends extra dollars their way every time participating shoppers swipe their rewards card. Anyone can sign up to support the senior center under the Community Rewards tab at http://www.citymarket.com.

The meeting closed with a legislative update from Senior Social Center board member and AAA representative Evelyn Tileston. She shared that House Bill 1033 passed the Colorado Senate Monday, requiring that a commission be created to form a plan for how to care for Colorado's aging population.

Tileston shared Colorado's population of people over 80 is expected to more than double between now and 2030.

Another bill, House Bill 1011, could allot an extra $4 million per year to the Older Coloradans Fund over and above the $10 million that is currently allotted.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.

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