By Pauline Masson
Pacific Missourian Editor
After four years of delay, the Tri-County Senior Center at 800 W. Union St. may finally get its generator running thanks to local churches taking to song.
The city of Pacific donated a spare generator that it had received from the fire district as surplus to the senior center in 2016, but it took years to get it delivered and it still does not run.
The Meramec Valley Christian Church Alliance (MVCCA), formerly the Ministerial Alliance, has decided to help.
On Sunday, April 14, the MVCCA will host Singspiration, a song service featuring hymn singing, at 6 p.m.
“This is a time when many of the alliance churches get together and singers from each church use their talents for a joint worship service,” said David Lange, MVCCA president. “It’s a lot of fun.”
The event will be held at The Bridge, 973 Warrens Way Drive, which is located off Highway OO, near the intersection with Highway 100.
The Tri-County Senior Center, which was designated a Red Cross disaster shelter in May 2015, needs a continuous source of power to provide no-cost temporary shelter during a disaster.
The center experienced its first disaster event during the late December 2016 flood, providing overnight sleeping cots, food, clothing and emergency assistance for flood victims with no generator.
In January 2017, Police Chief Matt Mansell was alarmed when he learned that the generator had not been delivered to the center.
Mansell said he learned the center had no generator when he contacted Jeannie Guffey, senior center administrator, during the recent ice storms.
“Our biggest fears were a power outage,” he said. “I contacted Jeannie about possibly opening the senior center as a warming station if the power went out. She said she couldn’t open if there was no power because the senior center doesn’t have a generator.”
When the city prepared to deliver the generator they discovered that it was not working.
When aldermen approved the annual $10,000 stipend to the senior center in May 2017, they added the stipulation to get the generator running and delivered. That action was delayed and the center has been operating without emergency power.
Now, MVCCA wants to help by dedicating any donations received at the upcoming Singspiration toward the generator.
“We will also accept a love offering to help the Tri-County Senior Center get their emergency generator hooked up to use in an emergency shelter in the event of a power outage,” Lange said.