Community Chest Spotlight: Senior Citizens Center

The Sewanee Senior Citizens Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It began in 1978 with state funds from Title V for building renovations. Volunteers completed the work on the building. Part of the director’s salary at that time was paid from Franklin County Senior Citizens funding. Meals were offered through the state’s Nutrition Program (Title VII).

In 1997 the satellite relationship with Franklin County Senior Citizens became tenuous when their board voted to cease contributing to the director’s salary. The Sewanee Community Chest increased its donation. An anonymous donor remained committed to matching funds. The Center survived.

In September 2002, the Sewanee Center was excluded from the state’s Nutrition Program. Meals were available again in October 2002 when Lena McBee and Frances Lappin prepared food at home and brought it to the center for distribution. Because of their efforts and the funds received from the Franklin County Commission and the Sewanee Community Chest, the Center has now hired a part-time cook. This part-time cook works 25 hours per week and prepares more than 8,000 meals annually.

In addition to meals for seniors and shut-ins, the Center provides various activities, which are scheduled weekly for 85 seniors and other members of the community. Activities include games, exercise groups, field trips, musical programs, blood pressure checks, and information sessions regarding nutrition and health care.

The Senior Citizens Center relies on the Community Chest for approximately 27 percent of its operating budget. Their income last year totaled $44,400. Current funding for the Center comes from the Franklin County Commission, the Sewanee Community Chest, bake sales, individual donations, and an annual Christmas bazaar. The Center’s greatest expense is still in food purchases of approximately $17,000 per year.

The Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information, contact the Sewanee Senior Citizens Center at 598-0771, or drop by for a visit at 5 Ball Park Road. The Center always welcomes visitors and volunteers.

The goal of the Sewanee Community Chest is to help citizens by funding the community. The Community Chest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible. Send your donation to Sewanee Community Chest, P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375.

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