In a short ceremony Wednesday afternoon, the Mid-Columbia Senior Center officially opened its long-awaited elevator. Winning the honor of taking the first ride was Gary Bradley and Sandy Haechrel.
Since President Trump’s budget proposal was announced last month, the local Meals on Wheels program heard from numerous people who feared it faced potential cuts. The good news is the two streams of federal funding it does get, which represents about 20 percent of its total resources, come from two programs that are not targeted for cuts in the Trump budget.
Losing ‘life of the party,’ ‘best friend’ tough blows for Mid-Columbia Senior Center
In a cruel one-two punch, Mid-Columbia Senior Center and Meals on Wheels lost its two most significant volunteers early in March when both died two days apart after short illnesses. Betty Harlan, 84, was the life of the party, and if a party wasn’t afoot, she’d see to it that one was organized, said Denise Patton, director of Meals on Wheels, which is housed in the senior center.
The Uplifting Elevator project at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center has been eight years in the making, work has begun, and the committee overseeing the project has met its $400,000 goal and took down the “fundraising thermometer” on Wednesday.
Whether it’s date night or an evening to socialize with family or friends, the Mid-Columbia Senior Center is the place to be Friday evening. “It’s a fall shindig,” said Ashley Lauterbach, one of the organizers and assistant director of The Dalles Meals on Wheels.
My children call me Mammy. It’s an Irish thing. I was in California visiting three of my grandchildren when I saw my 4-year-old grandson, “B,” having a bit of a tiff with his mother. She had let him have Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast. He, of course, had eaten all the marshmallow stars and none of the rest of the cereal and was asking for more. She said, not only would there be no more today, but there would not be anymore until he was old enough to eat everything in the bowl and drink his milk.
Widge Johnson of The Dalles decided to share a memorable moment in a grandparent essay contest because “this particular story still cracks me up.” Joan Silver, organizing the contest for the Mid-Columbia Senior Center, read Johnson’s entry, the first to be submitted, and knew instantly that it would be a tough act to follow.
Columbia Basin Care is dramatically improving its outdoor space with the creation of a park-like space featuring a picnic pavilion and wheelchair-friendly pathways. The park is being created on a one-acre parcel of land adjacent to the nursing home, at the corner of Webber and 11th streets. Lined with mature trees, the area has remained largely undeveloped and under-utilized.
The Mid-Columbia Senior Center invites grandparents to share their most memorable moments with grandchildren in an essay and possibly earn a prize for their efforts. Joan Silver, who is organizing the contest, said all entries must be received at the center, 1112 W. Ninth Street in The Dalles, by noon on Sept. 3. They can be emailed to email@example.com and must be 200 words or less to qualify.
A party on Sunday for three friends who turn 95 tomorrow has been expanded to include five other people from Sherman County who also celebrate birthdays this week. Leta Ann Reckmann of Grass Valley, daughter of Eilene Eslinger, has organized the event, which takes place at 2 p.m. July 17 at Sorosis Park.
Fashion show brings new life to the past
For three years now, students at St. Mary’s Academy have delivered Meals on Wheels once a month to senior and disabled citizens in The Dalles.
"Bingo!” The triumphant cry rings from the back of the room and runs like a ripple through the crowd, breaking the quiet tension created by the game. A volunteer moves to the winner’s table, reads the winning numbers aloud: “One. Three. Seven. Seven. Five.” The volunteer calling the game, Gary Patton, checks the numbers on a computer screen, confirms a winner. “We have a Bingo!”
A column by local writer Scott McKay
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