I just begin to think spring is here, as evidenced by all the blooming and budding going on, and another cold snap rushes into Oklahoma! I guess the old adage “Comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb” is what this year will be like. I’ve been wearing my flip flops around the house and then I think – c’mon Kate, it’s winter!

I just begin to think spring is here, as evidenced by all the blooming and budding going on, and another cold snap rushes into Oklahoma! I guess the old adage “Comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb” is what this year will be like. I’ve been wearing my flip flops around the house and then I think – c’mon Kate, it’s winter! Well, today is March 5 (Mardi Gras – one of my favorite holidays) and I want the weather to straighten up! Can’t imagine catching beads in this cold! I suppose that’s enough complaining about something I have absolutely no control over.

‘Tis the season for budget and grant writing in our little world. I don’t know if you know or not, but Shawnee Senior Center is a non-profit corporation and we receive our funding from several sources. We receive a contract for services from the city of Shawnee, grants from Central Oklahoma Economic Development District - Area Agency on Aging (COEDD-AAA), AVEDIS Foundation for our Senior Fitness Program. Our senior meals program is supported by the Walmart Foundation, and Shawnee Milling Company provides us with any of their products that we ask for at no charge. We also request a minimal $2 fee for our lunches, but there are several who receive scholarship lunches.

We raise additional funds when we offer our facility as an event venue. Birthday and anniversary parties, baby showers, church, class and/or family reunions, wedding receptions, funeral dinners, fitness and dance, art and cooking classes. You name it – we can probably host it!

We have a church meeting here on Wednesday and Sundays. So if you have a small-ish congregation and a building is more than you need – we might suit your purposes!

We also own our own vending machines, raffle donated items, and solicit donations and partnerships to area businesses to work with us on our projects like or arts and crafts classes, greenhouse and flowerbeds, our C&W music and dancing and gospel singing, recreation programs such as billiards, ping pong, dominoes, cards, etc.

All of these activities need funds to support the rooms they are in, hospitality snack items, equipment upgrades, etc. All of the funds we are able to raise for Shawnee Senior Center are used in support of our programs and activities so that seniors are able to enjoy time well spent!

We invite you to tour our building if you might consider making a tax deductible donation to Shawnee Senior Center.

There is also the portion of the one-penny sales tax that is divided among ten Pottawatomie County senior centers and two organizations that provide support to Pottawatomie County seniors. Tax dollars are approved by a vote of the people and we want to thank all of you for your support of the seniors in this county.

Pottawatomie County was the first in Oklahoma to provide this type of support to senior centers, and without these funds, many seniors would not have a place to go, socialize, enjoy lunch and other activities at little or no charge! Thank you Pottawatomie County citizens!

So, back to the budgeting and grant writing…. The number of people we serve allows us to track successful (or not successful) activities and provide information to our funders regarding how many people their funds helped.

Our attendance is counted by activity, as carefully as we can. This allows us to fund our programs, which includes having enough staff to do the hospitality work that is required. We want our people to feel welcome participating in activities, meals and programs that are available to them.

Enter Frankie Burton.

Frankie has been a volunteer receptionist at Shawnee Senior Center for going on nine years now. She knows most of our people, our activities, and does her best to keep us all organized – because that’s her thing! Frankie is also the person who collects and enters the attendance sheets so that we can count our clients. She has a spreadsheet for each month and a binder for each quarter’s worth of sheets. She does an amazing job and my life is so much simpler with her handling our attendance! And I love her for it!

You know – when people volunteer somewhere, they are doing it because they want to stay active, give back to their communities, and use the strengths they have acquired along the way to help others.

If you have some acquired knowledge you would like to share – with us or another organization, stop by and visit Volunteers Impacting People (VIP) here in the Shawnee Senior Center. They work with organizations all over Pottawatomie County to match organizations and people so that both get the most rewarding experience possible.

Thixe Totty, I know most of you know her – she’s been here forever – and you can reach her or one of her staff by calling (405)273-7910.

Our goal is to “Live better together longer!”

Shawnee Senior Center is like a little piece of home and we’d love to share it with you.

Breakfast is free and lunch is only $2, because we are supported by a grant from Walmart Foundation and products from Shawnee Milling Company.

If you just want to stay (or become more) active we have several choices for you: our Tai Chi: Working for Better Balance, Enhance Fitness (zero impact aerobics) or our 30/30 Fit class which is 30minutes of each program. Our Tai Chi class is the longest running Tai Chi, fall and injury prevention class in the State of Oklahoma thanks to our grantors, COEDD-Area Agency on Aging and Avedis Foundation. Our fitness and meals program are two of the reasons we are a Certified Healthy Oklahoma Business, Excellence Level. We are also a Blue Zones Certified Organization. We would love to share all of this with you!

Come on down and meet all of us here at the Shawnee Senior Center.

Shawnee Senior Center (where you only have to 50 or “better” to play!), 401 N. Bell Street, is attached to the east end of the municipal auditorium.

I hope you join Mike Askins and I when we will be chatting on KGFF, FM100.9. Wednesday morning at 8:35.

So until then, see you at the center!