With its funding severely slashed in the city’s tough financial times, resourceful seniors are keeping their center afloat with fundraising activities, donations, and volunteering their time.
Oakdale Recreation Department Supervisor Linda Royalty praised the people, groups and organizations that have continued to donate to the Oakdale Senior Center stating she was amazed at all the items and cash that has come in and was put to useful purposes such as much needed upgrades, furniture, and equipment.
Over the past few year city officials have gradually cut the senior center budget in preference to other services such as public safety. Additionally, the center only rakes in $55,000 of the $1.3 million gathered from Measure O sales tax funds.
“It’s important for our seniors to help support the center,” Royalty said. “Our budget basically only covers salary and maintains a building.”
One of the biggest contributions, according to Royalty, was a group of knitters who have designed scarves and sold them throughout town. The proceeds totaled close to $5,000 and went to refurbish the centers bathroom countertops – an expense normally provided by the city.
Another $1,000 was received and designated for landscaping purposes. Another concerned citizen volunteered time and money to remove dead bushes surrounding the building and replace them with new ones.
“I don’t think people know we do many of our upgrades through fundraising and donations,” Royalty said. “All of the ‘extras’ we’ve had done are from someone stepping up.”
Royalty added that one person donated furniture for their cardroom and the Oakdale Senior Citizens Foundation provided the center with two new computers, refurbished the center’s pool table, and mounted the television in their conference room for better viewing.
“We had been getting complaints about the condition of our Bingo cards,” Royalty said. “One senior took it upon themselves to go out and spend $500 in new cards so we would have good ones.”
Other profits candy and snack sales at the center even go to their trust account.
Currently crafts are being sold at the center including a handmade quilt.
For the entire story, read the Aug. 21 edition of The Leader.