To the Editor:
Our need for senior center was evident by the large turnout of 100-plus seniors at the May 10 meeting. My mother, Bertha Doolittle, was the moving force in starting the congregate meal program in Webster City. She saw many benefits for our community.
Once the congregate meal program started, we saw great improvements in the health and physical well being of several seniors. They had a reason to get up, get dressed and go to the meal site where they received a well-balanced meal. When the program started there were 80 seniors there each day. Because of improved health, some of these seniors avoided or delayed the need of nursing home care, thus saving taxpayers $20,000 to $40,000 a year.
I was pleased with the large turnout but disappointed with the lack of information and the lack of knowledge concerning this proposition to close. It has been said that the center is costing us $30,000 each year to keep it open. Another comment was made concerning an employee that is costing the city $8,000 a year and his wage is included in the $30,000 figure. IF this employee will still be we working for the city, that wage should be deducted from the overall cost, making it $22,000 to the center open.
Yes, there should be a board to oversee the operation of the center. The board of directors should come from all of the senior organizations and would have the responsibility of speaking to service clubs, church groups, etc., thus promoting the benefits associated with the center. The Fuller Hall director would be a nonvoting member.
A strong senior program is a good example of a growing community. Communities that have provided service clubs, finances and personal help to their seniors have seen huge benefits in return.
Don't let our responsibilities to our seniors fail.