(Posted July 7, 2018)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison County Senior Center recently acquired more space for parking.
In June, the center, located at 280 W. High St. in London, bought the 1.6-acre lot that borders the west side of the property. The land belonged to Martha Mabe who passed away last year.
“Martha was always so kind to allow us to use the space for additional parking when we had big events,” said Misty Bradley, executive director.
The center has approximately 85 parking spots. Bradley said some events, like the annual Senior Fair, draw over 200 people. Special music performances, fundraisers, and even popular lunch menus, like liver and onions, at the Senior Cafe max out the parking.
“It’s a good problem to have because it means we’re serving people well,” Bradley said.
The center spent several years saving up money to purchase the lot. Funds from bingo and other fundraisers covered the cost. No tax dollars were used, Bradley said.
The lot won’t be blacktopped right away. More fundraising is needed to cover asphalt costs.
When done, the space will help with more than overflow parking. Bradley said members are requesting that the center organize more multi-day, out-of-town trips. Participants will be able to park their cars in the lot while they are gone, freeing up spaces closer to the center’s entrances for other visitors to use during that time.
The center recently bought a new van for its transportation service. Madison County residents who are 60 or older can call the center for rides to and from doctor’s appointments, the bank, the grocery store and other locations. Drivers also provide rides to and from the center for the center’s adult care clients.
An Ohio Department of Transportation grant covered 80 percent of the cost of the van, which is modified for handicap accessibility. The center got its first grant for a van in 2014. The second came this year.
“These grants are such a big help for our budget,” Bradley said, noting that a modified van costs about $50,000.
Every month, Bradley writes a piece for the center’s newsletter. She provides updates on projects and programs and sometimes puts out a plea for donations. In recent months, members have responded by donating exercise equipment and cash for various expenses.
Earlier this year, Bradley wrote about her long-term dream of paying off the mortgage on the center. She was pleasantly surprised when a member handed her a cashier’s check for $20,000 to be used toward the principial on the loan.
“We have such great members who all are so supportive of the center,” Bradley said.
The center still has a long way to go before the mortgage is paid off, but such donations make a good dent, she said.
Of the original $1.4 million mortgage, approximately $580,000 remains to be paid. Five years remain on the 25-year note.
For more information about programs and services at the Madison County Senior Center, visit www.mcsenior.org/ or call (740) 852-3001.