In the past I have mentioned the different sources of income that support the funding of the Shawnee Senior Center (for example: the city of Shawnee, Shawnee Milling Company, Walmart, the Avedis Corporation, and funding by several charitable grant organizations pursued by Kate Joyce).

In the past I have mentioned the different sources of income that support the funding of the Shawnee Senior Center (for example: the city of Shawnee, Shawnee Milling Company, Walmart, the Avedis Corporation, and funding by several charitable grant organizations pursued by Kate Joyce).

There is one more important source that I have mentioned in passing that I would like to tell you a little more about today and that is the one percent county sales tax that is distributed equally to the ten senior centers located in Pottawatomie County and the two providers of social services to seniors, which are the COEDD service organization and VIP, a program of the COCCA service organization.

Each senior center in Pottawatomie County receives access to 1/11th of the monies collected from sales taxes each month (this amount varies between $1,150 and $1,250 in any given month). The two services (VIP and COEDD) split the one percent they receive. The monies available to the senior centers and the service organizations in the county can be used to purchase food items or for equipment replacement, or outside service repairs and, in the case of the service organizations, may be used for additional funding for services they provide.

In the case of our Shawnee Senior Center, available funds from the county are used to help fund the meals program, allowing us to have a free breakfast and help to subsidize the lunch meals or they might be used to help provide for things like computer repair or some new equipment for the pool room.

Any funds not used within the month by any of the recipients is aggregated into a fund for that center’s use in the future, which means major purchases can be made by any center with a “wish list.”

Now if you are reading this in The Shawnee News-Star and you don’t live in Shawnee, there is probably a senior center close to you. (Remember I said there were ten of them in the county.) And because you might be unaware of them I am going to tell you which towns you will find them in: Asher, Macomb, Maud, McLoud, Pink (804 S. Park), Shawnee, (301 N. Bell), Tecumseh, Tribbey and Wanette.

Now that I’ve told you a little about the way the county adds to the funding for all those centers, I am now going to tell you about the little lady at the Pottawatomie County Commissioners Office who handles all of the money from the county that is used each month by all those centers and the two service organizations that the county helps to fund. Her name is Randi Loy and she has been working for the county since 2004. Her title is “County Owned Property Liaison.” She has a list of varied things she does for the county, but for Pottawatomie County senior centers, she is one of the most important people to have in their corner. She is the one who actually works with the county commissioners to get the approvals for the expenditure of monies for the centers. She tracks what they spend and to whom, knows what they have in their “excess fund” available to use for an emergency or any “high dollar” purchases. When major purchases are requested she will help by getting at least three bids to present to the county commissioners for their approval and, in the case of an emergency situation, she will work for the center with the county commissioners. She has a monthly meeting with any and all of the centers’ personnel to discuss problems, situations, and to allow each center to become cognizant of what is going on at the other centers. Good ideas pass from one to another and information is passed on to all.

Randi is working on trying to visit each senior center in the county — one each month. With her schedule, she has managed to visit only three, but she is working on the rest. She says that seeing what these centers are like makes her job easier because she can visualize their building, the contents and the people that come to enjoy the services provided by each center. It’s fun for her and says she is always impressed by what each center has accomplished.

On a personal note, Randi is married to Marc from Meeker and they have a blended family of 11. They had an interesting start. They met at a child care facility when both as newly divorced parents were picking up their children. He asked her for a date, she said “no” and they continued to see each other at the child care facility. When her car died, he volunteered to take she and her family home and when she agreed, he took them home and then decided that perhaps he might try for a date one more time. So, he called and asked, she said yes, and a mere eight years later they were married. Apparently he is a very persistent guy.

My final word is “senior centers are fun.” They are all different, they are run by volunteers, and they serve a valuable purpose in the lives of the seniors in Pottawatomie County. If you are a senior and you have not visited a senior center in your community, please take the time and go do it. That, of course, always means our center here in Shawnee too. We love to visit with people who come to our center. So take a minute and drop in, to the center in Shawnee or one of the others that is in your community. I think you’ll be impressed.

This is a reminder that Kate Joyce, cruise director of the Shawnee Senior Center joins Mike Askins of KGFF Radio (FM100.9 or AM1450) at 8:35 every Wednesday morning on “Mike in the Morning.” As I have mentioned before there is always something new to hear when Kate and Mike get together and talk about the Shawnee Senior Center.

Also please remember that at the Shawnee Senior Center, “age is just a number” and you can visit the center’s new and improved web site at ShawneeSeniors.org or check us out our Facebook site at “Shawnee Senior Center.” And, if you are in the vicinity, you can always drop in at 301 N. Bell and pick up a calendar with events on one side and the menu for the month on the other.

And, as always, see you at the center!