The County Seat Senior Center Foundation Board members are making a push to pay off much of the building debt through a matching donation.
The remainder of the senior center building debt could be cut by more than half if board members can raise $25,000.
The funds would be matched by a local couple for a total of $50,000 — but it must be raised by the end of the year.
“We are very excited about the donor challenge and we are working hard to raise funds to meet that challenge,” said Foundation board member Mary Jo Straatmann.
She added that the center provides a place for seniors to meet with friends, eat a nutritious meal and have fun.
“No monetary donation is too small,” Straatmann added. “We are really appreciative of the generosity of people.”
The donations are tax deductible.
Straatmann noted that the senior center is the hub for the area meals on wheels program, which provides and delivers affordable, nutritious meals for people who are homebound.
Straatmann said it is volunteers who support and work at events that make a difference at the center.
“We are very thankful for the volunteers and the generosity of those in the community,” she said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do this.”
There are many ways that people can contribute to help match the funds proposed by donors.
Board members are selling engraved bricks for $125 to help pay off the 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 Automotive 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 636-584-4674, Mary Jo Straatmann at 636-584-3125, Ray Pracht at 636-584-3055 or Mike Livengood at 636-583-8257.
There are other fund-raisers, including jam sessions held twice each month, that bring in donations to pay down building debt.
The jam sessions are generally held the second and fourth Thursday of each month. Dinner is served at 5 p.m. and music and dancing begin at 6 p.m.
The board is seeking sponsors for the meals, which keeps the food cost low and allows for a larger profit.
People may donate vehicles that they would have traded in when purchasing a newer vehicle. He said the donation is tax deductible.
And board members are open to ideas. Anybody who has a suggestion of an event or other method to raise funds can contact board members.
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.
The senior center is open Monday through Friday to all seniors in the area, age 60 or older, or the handicapped. Meals are served daily for a donation of $3.50. 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.