Senior Social Center gains traction at inaugural annual meeting | CraigDailyPress.com

Senior Social Center gains traction at inaugural annual meeting

Lauren Blair

Interim board member Jackie Camp hands out ballots for the election of the permanent board at the Senior Social Center's first annual meeting Monday night. Camp and fellow interim board members Norma Levitt, Jean Jones, Eldon Holland, Evelyn Tileston and Kathy Fagan were elected to the permanent board, in addition to new board member Nancy Loughran.

— Craig's new Senior Social Center is gaining some serious traction. The organization met for its first official annual meeting Monday night to elect permanent board members and unveil recent milestones.

Efforts to form the center began last winter with a series of community meetings held by the Western Region Area Agency on Aging. The aim was to discover what seniors wanted in a possible senior center and to find a group of individuals willing to get the process started.

And start it they did. In less than a year's time, the center has blossomed from an idea into a full-fledged organization with 48 members on its roster by the end of the evening Monday.

"When you think about this group has accomplished since the spring, it's incredible," interim board chair Kathy Fagan said. "I think we can set the tone for other things to get accomplished in Craig."

The organization, which is in the process of obtaining nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, unveiled a new logo Monday night, announced its new Facebook page and its first Craig Sock Hop to be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.

Fagan also revealed that the Senior Social Center now has its own office space, provided free of charge by Colorado Northwestern Community College at its Bell Tower building. She discussed current funding for the center, which includes a $20,000 grant awarded recently by the Area Agency on Aging and a separate $3,250 grant from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation to conduct a feasibility study for site sustainability and programming.

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Despite not yet having a permanent site to call home, members began holding their first gatherings last month, called Coffee and a Conversation,at the American Legion. The weekly gathering will continue this month at the CNCC Bell Tower, followed by four weeks at the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, giving attendees a chance to reflect on what works best about various site options available to them.

"Until we can get enough money until we can build our own building, we're going to have to think about how that flexibility is going to work," Fagan said. "We need to work on a pros and cons list."

Interim board members Norma Levitt, Jean Jones, Jackie Camp, Eldon Holland, Evelyn Tileston and Kathy Fagan were re-elected to the permanent board, with the addition of new board member Nancy Loughran. Interim board member Jo Ann Baxter chose not to run for the permanent board.

"It'll be nice to see the follow-through of the things we have started," Fagan said. "It's exhausting at times, but it's a privilege to represent the members and help them fulfill their vision."

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