The County Seat Senior Center building debt has dipped below $100,000 thanks to some major donations and the hard work of seniors. 

The total debt is now $93,459.83, according to County Seat Senior Center Foundation Board Treasurer Dale Schmuke.  The initial debt was $550,000. 

“The reason it has been paid down as much as it has is because of the generous donations we’ve gotten over the years,” he said.

Some major donations were made just last year when Jim and Myrtle Scheer agreed to donate $20,000 to pay off the building debt if the board is able to raise matching funds.

A second donor, this one anonymous, agreed to match $10,000 if the center’s board can raise an additional $10,000 after the Scheer family donation and match.

The County Seat Senior Center opened in May 2004. The facility encompasses 7,500 square feet and features seating for 588 people.

The Union Senior Center was relocated to the basement of American Legion Post 297 in 1999 after Mid-East Area Agency on Aging officials and the center’s previous landlord were unable to negotiate a lease agreement at its previous location, 501 E. Main St.

About three years later, in 2002, work began on the development of a permanent facility offering meals and activities to the area’s seniors.

There are many ways that people can contribute to help match the funds proposed by donors.

Fund-raiser jam sessions, rummage sales, card parties and auctions help pay off debt and maintain the facilities.

“The jam sessions have been a huge help to keeping the building maintained,” said Schmuke. 

All ages are invited to come to the jam sessions, held on the second and fourth Thursday of every month. People can bring their own instrument, or just enjoy an evening of dinner, dancing and friendship. For more information on the jam sessions, people may contact Ceal Andre at 636-583-3599.

There are yard sales twice a year in which people may donate items for the center to sell. People also can donate older vehicles and receive a tax break.

Selling Bricks

The board also is selling engraved bricks for $125 to help pay off building debt. The bricks are placed near an entrance to the facility.

The bricks are now on sale and pamphlets are located at several Union businesses. The pamphlets contain contact numbers, and a space to write what is to be engraved on the bricks. The pamphlets can then be mailed or given to a Foundation board member.

Pamphlets can be picked up at Advanced Auto Electric, Livengood’s Transmission or Union Auto Care.

People can purchase one brick for $125 or four bricks for $400. Two lines can be engraved on the bricks with up to 21 letters on each line. The lettering will be three-quarters of an inch thick in size.

The bricks can be purchased and engraved in honor of someone, or with the names of family members and friends

For more information, people may call Jerry Sitzes at 636-583-3664, Mary Jo Straatmann at 636-583-3125, Ray Pracht at 636-583-3231, Reida Hall at 636-583-2965 or Mike Livengood at 636-583-8257.

Senior Center

The senior center is open Monday through Friday to all seniors in the area, age 60 or older, or handicapped. Meals are served daily for a donation of $2.50, or people can purchase a ticket for a donation of $10 or $20, that provides for five or 10 meals. The County Seat Senior Center serves an average of 70 meals daily at the facility, plus a home delivery program of approximately 70 additional meals.

The County Seat Banquet Center is available for rental for all occasions. 

Every day the senior center offers the seniors an opportunity to enjoy an active, happy, healthy and independent lifestyle with all the daily recreational activities and social and cultural events offered at the center. For more information people may call the center at 636-583-5432.

Donations are always welcome and can be mailed to and made payable to: County Seat Senior Center Foundation, P.O. Box 358, Union, MO 63084.