County Seat Senior Center board members have been presented with a challenge that could help them significantly pay down building debt.
Jim and Myrtle Scheer agreed to donate $20,000 to pay off the building debt if the board is able to raise matching funds, according to senior center Foundation board president Ray Pracht.
He explained that if the board can raise $20,000 in funds by the Dec. 1 deadline, the group will be much closer to paying off the building debt.
“We’re hoping to pay off the debt significantly in the next four to five months,” said Pracht.
But there is another looming challenge in which Pracht and board members want to get the word out.
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.
“Obviously we’re looking for ways to match it,” he said.
The current building debt is $166,000, Pracht said. If both challenges are met, the debt could be at $100,000 next year.
The initial building debt was about $550,000, Pracht said.
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.
Pracht said fundraiser jam sessions, rummage sales, card parties and auctions help pay off debt from loans acquired to fund the project.
“People can make cash contribution, attend jam sessions where they can buy meals, dance and have a good time,” he said. “We also get a lot of money through memorials.”
There are yards 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.
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.
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.
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.