Senior Council discusses future of services | SierraSun.com

Senior Council discusses future of services

Katherine Morris, Sierra Sun

Roughly 40 people crammed into the Senior Center dining hall last Thursday for the first Truckee Tahoe Senior Council meeting of the year.

The list of attendees ranged in age, and included several political figures such as Nevada County 5th District Supervisor Barbara Green, Town Council member Josh Susman and Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District Superintendent Pat Gemma.

“The purpose of this meeting is to see where we are at,” said Dave Dunlap, member of the council’s board of directors. “We need to look at our accomplishments from last year and address our goals and priorities for 2002.”

People snacked on spinach dip, taquitos and cookies while Dunlap covered the laundry list of items on the agenda.

He started with a brief history of the council’s inception last May, when the future of the local meal program for seniors was threatened.

“Our community really came together and saved the program,” he said. “The purpose of this council is to make sure that the meal program is never threatened again.”

Nearly 70 hot meals are served each day at the Senior Center as well as to homebound seniors.

In addition to saving the meal program by raising $24,000 in the community, the council also began developing ongoing community fundraisers to raise the $2,000 a month necessary to keep the meals program going. One of those programs has been the pancake breakfast. “At the first one, we had 58 people, and at the second, we had close to 160. We raised nearly $570,” Dunlap said.

He said that the council has also done a lot of organizational work to make the group official.

For priorities in the coming year, Dunlap divided the council’s goals into three categories: membership development, public relations and fundraising.

Several audience members expressed concern over the lack of attendees at the meeting, despite the 80-plus mailers that were sent out to community members.

Committees of two and three were formed to tackle both membership problems and public relations needs.

Other ideas that were brought up included the need to educate the public on the needs of seniors in their community such as health care and transportation, as well as to develop a better working relationship with local press.

According to Dunlap, fundraising continues to be the key concern of the council.

“We would like to explore government sources of funding, stabilize our existing fundraising programs, develop additional new ones,” he said.

One example was the “Adopt-a-Senior” program in which local businesses and individuals commit to make a monthly tax deductible donation of $25 or more.

The council’s first major fundraiser of the year, scheduled for Feb. 2, is going to be a “Bingo Night and a Spaghetti Dinner” at the Truckee Community Center. The Truckee Lionesses are providing dinner, while the Truckee Lions tend the bar, which opens at 5 p.m. Dinner, from 6 to 7 p.m. is $8 and bingo, which starts at 7 p.m., is $10 for 10 games. There will also be a silent auction throughout the evening.

“It’s going to be a fun event. All the service clubs have really come together to put this event on,” Dunlap said. All proceeds help support the senior meals program.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call Dan at 582-7720 or Dave at 582-1178.