GREENVILLE — Mindy Stebbins and Lauren Henry, co-presidents of Darke County Senior Outreach, presented information on a proposed senior citizen building in Greenville at Monday’s luncheon meeting of the Public Employee Retirees (PERI).
Stebbins told the group how the Darke County Senior Outreach got its start…from the Tri-Council from the Area Agency on Aging.
“There is no place for the seniors to meet, eat or play cards,” she said. “We want to get individuals together and have a place to go and make sure there are things for retired folks to do.”
According to Stebbins, a survey was sent out in 2013, and from the results of that the senior outreach recognized transportation was an issue.
“And, we’re working on that,” she said in her update.
She also reported that they are looking at different locations for a proposed center.
“We haven’t left no stone unturned,” she said. “We are working hard on it and meet monthly. Lauren has written a grant and we have become 501(c)3.”
“We have met with the county commissioners,” said Henry. “Funding is the next step. I worked with [Sen. John] Faber the last round.”
In her report, Henry first began talking about the recent Senior Day luncheon, indicating there were more than 300 people on the waiting list, showing there is a need for the aged to gather for congregate meals, education and entertainment.
“It goes to show there is a need there,” she said. “There are not a lot of places in Ohio that do not have a senior activity center, where active seniors, retired or not, can socialize and form new friendships while participating in organized activities that are not only beneficial to their health and welfare but which are enjoyable and fun as well.”
Henry added, “We have to work on that calling to our community. We have looked at a lot of real estate, talked to the commissioners and looked at different possibilities. We do need help. We’re all doing it volunteer.”
She went on to say that putting levy on the ballot is always an option but noted they have not looked into that yet.
“We’re not going away,” said Stebbins. “We’re very dedicated to having a senior center. Write letters. Let your voices be heard.”
Someone in the audience how much the project would cost, and Henry said between $500,000 and $1 million.
“Our larger operating costs will be meals and transportation,” she said.
According to Henry and Stebbins, they are off to an “excellent start” with a recent donation of more than $1,000 from Village Green.
Nevertheless, they say, it will take considerably more money and county-wide support if they are to succeed.