For many people, there is no bigger hassle than wrapping presents during the holidays. But for ten volunteers at the Rochester Senior Center, they are happy to do it, especially if it means bringing the organization one step closer to achieving one of their dreams. On Saturday, December 15, the Senior Center held a gift-wrapping fundraiser in order to raise money for its Supportive Day Program Fund.
“Since December is so busy, we decided not to do a dinner like we have been doing,” said Executive Director Sharon Lally. “Instead, we decided to do this because it’s timely and it’s a nice service to give to the community.”
All of the money raised on Saturday will go to the Supportive Day Program Fund, which aims to put a 1,500 square foot addition to the rear of the Senior Center. The Supportive Day Program will cater to the frailer senior citizens in town by allowing them to live in their homes but go to the Senior Center each day to be supervised and monitored.
“Some of these senior citizens are living alone in their homes and they don’t get out,” said Lally. “As a result, they can become isolated and depressed. This is an opportunity to do something specifically for this population.”
The program will help ensure that the senior citizens are getting good nutrition as well as increased socialization, Lally said. Additionally, the Senior Center will provide transportation and meals for the attendees. All of this will hopefully be done without the town’s money, Lally hopes.
“We are trying to raise money for the addition without asking the town for additional funds,” she said. “Knowing what the economy is right now, we don’t want to have to raise taxes.”
So far, the group is well on their way to achieving that goal. After a year-and-a-half of fundraising, they’ve been able to raise nearly half of their $200,000 goal. An ongoing brick sale where residents can purchase a brick to honor a loved one has been an important source for funds. Also, the Senior Center has held a variety of different dinners to raise money. A Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament is slated for March 9.
“There’s a million places to put your money and not everyone has extra money to give right now so every little bit counts,” said Lally. “It’s really heartwarming because we have such wonderful volunteers here. I try to not take it for granted because we really are blessed that way.”
For more information on the Rochester Senior Center, visit their website at www.rochestermaseniorcenter.com.
By Katy Fitzpatrick