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Senior Center celebrates National Senior Center Month

Posted: Sunday, Sep 23rd, 2012

Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial City Post 3081 and its Ladies Auxiliary, presented a United States Flag to Taylor County Senior Center Executive Director, Frank Mayle in celebration of National Senior Center Month. Pictured, from left are VFW Ladies Auxiliary Secretary, Polly Forman, VFW Ladies Auxiliary President, Barbara Robison, Mayle, and Taylor County Senior Center Board of Directors President, Calla Frederick.

GRAFTON – Taylor county Senior Center Site Supervisor, RoseMary Knight welcomed a room full of local dignitaries, and senior citizens, to an open house celebration of National Senior Center Month.

Taylor County Senior Center Executive Director, Frank Mayle was presented with a United States Flag, and a standard, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Memorial City Post 3081 and its Ladies Auxiliary.

“We are very fortunate to have this center,” Mayle stated. “I want to thank all of the senators, and delegates, who have put forth the effort, over the years, to keep the center running for 41 years.”

Mayle spoke of a committee of 16, who in 1971, came together to start the Taylor County Senior Center on a shoestring budget of $1,500. The first center was located at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Grafton. Over the years, the center grew, and was relocated to a building downtown.

In the fall of 2001, the center moved to its present location, at the corner of Route 119 and Route 250.

Over the years, five different directors have run the center. Mayle, who has worked for the center for 28 years, is the current director.

As the center grew, it formed satellite locations. The center has satellite locations in Flemington, Knottsville, and Parkview. It also has Nutrition Sites at Elizabeth Cather Towers, and the Flemington Community Building, for which it provides all of the meals.

Mayle spoke of all the great programs that keep the center going.

“Throughout the year, the center serves 1,000 people on a daily basis,” Mayle continued. “What started with $1,500, has grown to a budget of over one million dollars.”

Mayle indicated that the center employees 52 people in Taylor County, providing much needed jobs to county residents.

“We have a great staff at the center, it takes a special kind of person to do this job, and they are all wonderful,” Mayle explained. “I also want to thank the Taylor County Commission for our levy, and its continued support.”

The Taylor County Senior Center provides home-cooked meals on a daily basis. This is a great opportunity for those on a fixed income, to enjoy a terrific meal with friends, old and new. All of the meals offered at the center are cooked fresh daily. Visitors, under the age of 60, are encouraged to stop by and dine with a friend, or loved one, at the low cost of $4.75.

For those, who are homebound and unable to cook, the center offers a home delivered meals program. The center also offers homebound shopping, in order to assist those, who are confined to their homes, in obtaining their needed food, clothing and medical supplies.

The center offers Medicaid transportation. They regularly transport clients to, and from, medical appointments in seven different counties. They also transport groups of seniors for banking, grocery shopping, meals at congregate sites, and more.

The Taylor County Senior Center assists its satellite locations by providing various items for covered dish dinners, and the services of the Center Nurse, Stephen Tustin. Tustin travels to the various sites throughout each month, offering health assessments, such as, blood pressure monitoring, blood glucose testing and nutrition assistance.

The center offers services for veterans, and the elderly through representation. A veterans’ representative is available, at the site, on the second Thursday of each month to answer questions from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Through the Coalition on Legislation for the Elderly (C.O.L.E.), seniors can get actively involved with issues of concern to themselves, and others. Local senior representatives travel to statewide meetings on the second Thursday of each month.

The Senior Companion Program is designed to link older volunteers, with frail elderly persons needing services. The program has a duel purpose, offering personal, satisfaction, and extra income, to seniors, who are able to serve, and assisting elderly clients to maintain some independence in their homes.

In Home Lighthouse assists seniors, who have functional needs in their homes, but whose income and assets disqualify them from Medicaid services, by providing support in personal care, mobility, nutrition and housekeeping.

In Home FAIR offers relief to family caregivers, and, at the same time, provides one-on-one attention and individualized activities for persons with written diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, or related dementia.

Taylor County Commissioner, Tony Veltri, issued a proclamation naming the month of September as West Virginia Senior Center Month.

Whereas, the Taylor County Senior Citizens Center understands the important needs of our county’s growing aging population.

Whereas, the Taylor County Senior Citizens Center has committed to providing quality services to seniors, including health and leisure serves, and goals of improving the health and well-being of our growing aging population in Taylor County.

Be it resolved that the Taylor County Commission does hereby proclaim the month of September 2012 as “WV Senior Center Month.”

“The commission is very proud of the work that Frank and his staff do here in this county,” Veltri stated.

The proclamation was signed by Veltri, Taylor County Commission President, David Efaw, and commissioner David W. Gobel.

West Virginia Senator, Bob Williams stated that he “has a very strong appreciation for what these folks do. It’s amazing what these guys can accomplish on a shoestring.”

Williams spoke about an effort to replace a van that was recently damaged in an accident in Blueville.

The van was replaced by a grant from the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services for $15,000, and a $10,000 award from the Legislature’s Community Participation Program. These funds were secured through the efforts of Delegate to the 42nd District Mike Manypenny (after this November’s election, his district will change to 49th), Senator Williams, and Senator Dave Sypolt.

Also assisting in the acquisition of the grant with Manypenny’s request was the Chairman of the Senior Issues committee Larry Williams. This committee is one of the committees Manypenny sits on with Williams.

After Senator Williams finished, Taylor County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant, Dayton Mayle spoke with the seniors about Senior Safety. Mayle indicated that phamplets are located in the lobby of the center, provided by the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department, to help keep seniors safe from fraud. Mayle indicated that the latest issue affecting seniors, is the trend of fraudulent phone calls stating that a family member is in jail, and asking the seniors to send money by Western Union.

Finally, Taylor county Senior Center Board President, Calla Frederick introduced the board members. The members include Mary Etta Rockhold, Minnie Fawcett, Shirley and William Frum, Rose Sylvestre, Carl Jenkins, Ed Shaffer, Roberta Freeman, Tony Veltri and Roy Poling.

Along with Senator Williams, and commissioner Veltri, other visitors to the center included Grafton Mayor, G. Thomas Bartlett, III, council member, Brenda K. Thompson, Taylor County Clerk, Georgiana Thompson, VFW Ladies Auxiliary President, Barbara Robison and secretary, Polly Forman, Grafton Housing Authority representatives, Sue Criss and Frank Mayle, Jr., and Bartlett Funeral Home representatives David Bolyard, Nancy Bartlett, and Carolyn Flesher.

A terrific lasagna lunch was served after the festivities, and cookies and cake were provided in the reception area.

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