New bus will serve area seniors

Messenger photos by Pat Donahue
Grove City officials added a bit of bling to the Evans Center annual holiday potluck luncheon, with the delivery of a new bus. The brand new bus has a mechanical ramp that can be operated from inside the bus with room for two secured wheelchairs as well as 12 seats. This will replace the 2009 model that has over 180,000 miles on it that will be kept and maintained as a back-up. The new bus was made possible through a grant from MORPC picking up 80 percent of the tab leaving the cities contribution at around $16,000.
Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage presented Lifecare Alliance President and CEO Chuck Gehring with a check for $10,000 from fundraisers throughout the year. Gehring also was awarded a check for $2,000 from the Grove City Area Senior Club.

The city of Grove City is committed to providing essential and innovative services for Grove City and Jackson Township seniors through a variety of partnerships. Two of the Evans Center’s most popular services are the transportation program and LifeCare Alliance’s Meals on Wheels delivery service. The city unveiled the latest upgrade to the transportation program, a new bus, on Dec. 19 at the Evans Center. After the unveiling, Grove City and the Grove City Area Senior Club presented donations to LifeCare Alliance at their annual holiday potluck luncheon.

Through various fundraising efforts throughout the year, most notably the Mayor’s Cup Golf Outing, the city raised $10,000 in support of Meals on Wheels. The Grove City Area Senior Club is contributing another $2,000 for the organization. Coordinated through LifeCare Alliance, the local Meals on Wheels program distributes thousands of meals each year to the homebound.

The transportation program operated by the Evans Center is a resource Grove City is proud to provide the community. It allows senior members of the community unable to travel by themselves access to transportation, not just to the Evans Center to participate in activities, but to medical appointments, the grocery or drug store and other key destinations.

The transportation program averages more than 1,500 trips per year, traveling more than 18,000 miles. The city’s 2009 eight-seat, wheelchair-lift enabled bus was reaching the end of its effectiveness, so Grove City applied for a grant offered through the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). This grant is part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5310 Program administered locally by MORPC to support public transportation services that meet the needs of seniors and the disabled.

The grant, awarded in May 2018, provided 80 percent of the total price of a new 12-seat, wheelchair-lift enabled replacement bus costing just over $80,000. The new bus allows the city to serve a larger number of citizens with a higher degree of comfort and safety.

“We truly value our MORPC partnership, allowing us to again enhance mobility options for Grove City’s senior residents,” said Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage. “Our community is so proud to enhance its more than 30-year senior transportation service in central Ohio – just what you would expect from our twice-named ‘Best Hometown.’”

One of the city’s longest and most important partnerships is with LifeCare Alliance. For more than three decades, Grove City worked with this important non-profit that provides a comprehensive array of health and nutrition services to senior, medically challenged and homebound residents of central Ohio including administration of the regional Meals on Wheels program. The Grove City Dining Center is one of 31 Meals on Wheels distribution centers operated by LifeCare Alliance. Volunteers deliver meals to homes, providing nutrition and personal contact.

The Evans Center benefits from partners large and small, and all are appreciated. The center also is debuting new furniture donated by Priscilla Kilman in honor of her husband, Dr. James W. Kilman, and daughter, Jennifer. This furniture will provide comfort to visitors in the Evans Center lobby.

For information regarding the Evans Center programs and activities, including how you can volunteer for Meals on Wheels, call 614-277-1060.

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