Florence Senior Community Center
A non-profit organization
of wonderful people over 50
serving seniors (and not-yet-seniors)
of Florence, Colorado
and surrounding communities
Florence Senior Community Center
100 Railroad Street
P.O. Box 300
Florence, Colorado 81226
Phone number at the Senior Center: 719-784-6493
OUR MISSION AND PURPOSE:
The Florence Senior Community Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, founded in 1979, to improve the quality of life for seniors in Eastern Fremont County by providing nutritious meals three times each week, including Meals-on-Wheels, and a safe familiar gathering place for social, charitable, recreational, cultural, educational and health related activities.
We also provide a meeting place for other local non-profit organizations that have no “home” of their own. We serve the entire community by opening all of our programs to both members and non-members of any age, nationality, color, race, creed, disability or economic standing.
OPEN TO ALL AGES:
Our doors are open to everyone. You don't have to be a member ~ or even a senior ~ to enjoy our many programs.
All persons in our community and surrounding areas are welcome to all our programs.
Our oldest member is 95 years old! There's something here for every age group.
AARP driving class
About three decades ago, the City of Florence in Fremont County, Colorado acquired the Denver & Rio Grande Depot Building from the Rio Grande Railroad Company. (Please see the recent picture of the building on our website - www.florenceseniorcenter.com.)
In 1979, the elected Florence City officials invited the seniors of Florence to begin a senior center here. Within a few months, UAACOG helped to renovate the kitchen and our membership began a year-round hot meals program at the Center three times each week. Soon after, a Meals-on-Wheels program was added to serve the sick and house-bound of our community. To that we added the Commodities Program where low income and unemployed local residents can get boxes of food at no cost.
We have remained in this location all these years. In 2009, we purchased this building, making it our permanent home. Different programs have come and gone to accommodate the interest and talents of the membership at the time. However certain activities, especially the hot meals and music programs, have always remained consistently popular with our membership and community at large.
The Senior Center remains a place where seniors (and not-yet-seniors) can meet for companionship, support, games, music, exercise, health and wellness activities, volunteer and leadership opportunities and much more.
Days gone by
The Florence Senior Center mainly serves the seniors of Florence, Colorado, but we have several members who come from Pueblo, Pueblo West, Penrose, Canon City, Coal Creek, Williamsburg and Cotopaxi.
At the present time we have 124 voting members. Our Center is also used by the families, friends and neighbors of our members who come to enjoy the programs with us. Senior newcomers to our town make friends quickly by joining our group. In addition, family members who live at great distances from our seniors benefit from knowing that their elderly loved ones have a local senior community that can help alleviate the loneliness which come with growing old and living apart.
This wide-spread, diversified use of this building enlarges the population we serve to hundreds of people of all ages every month who benefit from our activities and facility. Please see our attached spreadsheet “Program Participation at the Florence Senior Center”. It clearly lists our many programs and the average number of participants at each one. The total number of participants at all our programs is about 23,500 per year.
We’re proud that we’ve been able to keep our Senior Center doors open through thick-and-thin for 30 years. Our meals programs have contributed immeasurably to the health and well-being of thousands of people over the years. Countless lasting friendships have been formed at our Center and innumerable lonely hours were completely avoided because our Center has always been a place where seniors can come and find warmth and companionship.
We’re proud of the number of volunteer hours our members contribute to their Center and the community. Our members volunteer an average of 300 hours per week (300 x 52 = 15,600/hours per year). Without this hearty volunteer spirit, the Center would not run as smoothly and efficiently as it does.
Recently we’ve had reason to be proud of the renovations we’re made to the Center. Visitors who have not been to the Center in years comment on the wonderful improvements we have made.
In 2011, we installed a handicapped bathroom, which is very much appreciated by our wheelchair-bound members and guests. We have the Daniels Fund to thank for helping us with this project!
We now need to renovate the kitchen we use to prepare the meals for our Hot Meals Program and Wheels-on-Wheels. It's been over a decade since we have paid attention to upgrading the kitchen -- and it's way overdue.
Next, we need to replace three antiquated furnaces. It's amazing that they have lasted this long!
Unfortunately, the roof needs works, too.
Then the insulation needs to be upgraded. Becoming more energy efficient is a high priority for us since utility costs are so high.
Food and Friendship
OUR ORGANIZATION'S CURRENT ACTIVITIES:
Here is a list of the regular programs that benefit both members and non-members in Florence and surrounding towns:
||3 times per week
|Meals on Wheels
||3 times per week
|Commodities Program ***
|Food in the Park (Summer)
|Blood Pressure Clinic
|Karaoke and Dance
|Friday Pot Luck Dinner
|Friday Night Jam Session
|Flying Fingers Stitchery
|Seminars and Classes
| Other Organizations:
|Renting the Building
As you can see from our “Program Participation at the Florence Senior Center” chart above, we have extensive community involvement. All our programs are open to the public. The Congregate Meals and the Meals-On-Wheels programs are part of our community outreach. The discount meals provide a place where any senior can receive a hot meal at a very low price while eating in the company of 50 to 70 other people. This simple activity wards off depression, loneliness and isolation that is often experienced by seniors. The nutritious meals, prepared by UAACOG, improves the health and sense of well-being that would otherwise be lost by those who live alone and often don’t bother to prepare well balanced meals just for themselves.
The weekly Pot Luck meals allow participants to show off their cooking skills while bringing benefit to both friends and strangers. We also host the Commodities Program in collaboration with UAACOG for people who are struggling to feed their family. Our new Nutritional Cooking Classes is run by a local cook who teaches our seniors how to prepare heart-healthy meals.
Other health related activities is our free Blood Pressure Clinic and various educational classes on how to deal with diabetes and other diseases.
Music is a central part of the activities at the Center. We provide several opportunities every week for people of all ages to sing, play and dance; Karaoke, Friday Night Jam Sessions, Dance Lessons, Dine & Dance. This allows seniors to bring family and friends to participate fully in activities that are uplifting to everyone.
For creativity, we have a Flying Fingers Stitchery Club, which the ladies like. Texas Hold’em days (played with chips, not money) really appeal to the men.
Games days are especially fun for seniors who want to spend enjoyable time with their grandchildren. This also gives the children the opportunity to meet and interact with a variety of senior citizens, getting and giving attention in a safe play environment.
Other organizations that use our building are AA, Al Anon, and the SA Dancers.
Fundraisers are an important part of our activities. As you can see from our Profit & Loss statement, we rent out our building for use by residents and businesses in the community for their private activities, meetings and parties. Since our Dining Hall seats 85 people and our Founders Room seats another 40, these rooms are often used for birthday and anniversary parties and other special events. Other fundraisers include silent auctions, craft shows, selling concessions in the park, yard sales, bake sales, bowling fundraisers, raffles, cook book sales, and the like.
Everyone is welcome at every function. However, we suggest you call the Center to verify days and times.
As you can see from our many programs, our greatest accomplishment has been to continue faithfully throughout the decades. We've worked together to provide a safe place to gather, meeting each other's needs for companionship and support. In spite of many difficulties, we've successfully maintained and improved a wide variety of enjoyable programs for our growing membership and their guests.
ROLL OF VOLUNTEERS:
We strongly encourage volunteerism. There are about 300 volunteer hours given each week to our Center. That comes to about 15,600 volunteer hour donated annually.
Large TV installed for those who have trouble seeing
Our most important collaboration is with UAACOG. They use our kitchen to prepare hot meals 3 times a week for those who can come to the Center and Meals-on-Wheels for our shut-in community members.
The Florence Citizen Newspaper is another important collaborator. The owner of the paper prints our latest accomplishments and announcements of our upcoming events. Other local business owners have donated items to our Center, allowed us to post flyers in their establishments, they have rented our hall, etc.
We participate in the County’s Community Service Program for people who have been ordered by the court to complete hours of community service as part of their sentence. These individuals help us with building projects, lifting boxes of commodities to seniors’ cars and dozens of other types of work depending on the person’s experience and capabilities. This has been a very mutually-beneficial collaborative relationship.
All outside organizations who use our building view us as valuable collaborators. We provide an environment where they can meet. If it is not a private function, our members can attend or become members of their group. The donations they give for using the building help us to conduct our own programs. This results in our building being used as much as possible and keeps them from having to buy and maintain a building of their own.
These are all real win-win collaborations.
Support Letter from Rocky Mountain Bank and Trust
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Support Letter from Fremont County Commissioners
HOW OUR ORGANIZATION IS GOVERNED:
We have a 9-member board of directors who vote on issues concerning our Center. We operate under a set of Bylaws and in accordance with our Incorporation Papers, the State Statute for non-profit organizations and our IRS 501(c)3 status.
There's a board meeting every month where current issues are voted on.
LIST OF CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
 Del Lennie, Chairman of the Board - Member of the Senior Center since 2011. He has his masters degree in organizational management and has taught business management courses part-time at Metropolitan State College n Denver. He has been a member and officer of several non-profits and is familiar with Roberts Rules of Order and knows how to write bylaws for non-profits. His immediate goal is to see the bylaws rewritten to allow for more membership input in the operations of the Center. Delbert lives in Rockvale.
 Ione Stroup, Treasurer – Joined the Center since 2005 and previously served on the board in 2009. She has been very active in fundraising and activities throughout the years. She was previously employed as a bookkeeper for 15 years at Domtar Corporation in Florence and as bookkeeper in 2 banks. Ione has volunteered in one place or another since grade-school, including with Our Town Canon City, the Highway 50 Yard Sale, at her church and at nursing homes since 1974. Her vision is to see increased participation in activities and more fundraisers. Ione lives in Canon City.
 , Secretary
 Ruth Hauschildt , Newsletter Chairman - Member of the Senior Center since 2001. She is a Colorado native and has lived in several Colorado communities during her life. She owned and operated a Florence motel with convenience store with her husband for nearly forty years. She has been active at the Florence Senior Center in many capacities, including helping to run the activities, fundraising, commodity distribution and the UAACOG hot meals program. Her vision for the Center is to continue writing and distributing the Center’s newsletter, inviting new writers to participate. Ruthie lives in Florence.
 Mary Rodregues, Officer – Member of the Florence Senior Center since 2008. She was appointed by the Board to fill an opening due to a resignation and is serving as Building Rental and Volunteer Coordinator. She was a nurse by profession in Colorado and other states. Mary founded and operated a non-profit organization called The Lord’s Pantry in Trinidad. Currently, Mary is serving on the Manna House Board of Directors located in Florence. She brings experience that will make her a real asset to the Center’s board. Her hope is to implement better communication and transparency between the board and the membership. Mary lives in Florence.
BOARD TERMS: Elections are held every October for all one-year board terms, which begin in January. A board member may serve consecutive terms if reelected.
DIRECTIONS TO THE
FLORENCE SENIOR COMMUNITY CENTER:
To be added.
You can call the Florence Senior Center at 719-784-6493
or you can visit us at 100 Railroad Street in Florence, Colorado.
You'll find the Center open while we're preparing and serving meals. Those days and hours are: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 AM to 3 PM.
If you want to join us for our Meals Program, call the Center before 9:30 AM that day to make a reservation.
The Center is also open while our many other programs listed above are in session. If you're interested in participating, call for days and times.
We're looking forward to hearing from you!
The Seniors at the Florence Senior Community Center