Community Chest Spotlight: Sewanee Senior Citizens Center

The 2014-15 Sewanee Community Chest Fund Drive is underway. The power of the people helping people makes a difference in the life of the community. Sponsored by the Sewanee Civic Association, the Community Chest raises money yearly for local charitable organizations serving the area. This year’s goal is $101,000. To date, 44 percent of the goal has been reached.

This week we shine the spotlight on the Sewanee 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 now has cooks. These cooks prepare more than 12,000 meals annually. Approximately 2,000 meals are delivered to homebound patrons.

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 25 percent of its operating budget. Their income last year totaled $48,000. Current funding for the Center comes from the Franklin County Commission ($9,000), the Sewanee Community Chest ($12,000), and food donations ($18,000). They also receive funds from bake sales, individuals, and an annual Christmas bazaar. The Center’s greatest expense is for food purchases of approximately $18,000 per year. The Senior Citizens Center is requesting $12,000 this year to pay for the cook’s salaries.

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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