Senior Friends seek to take up economic slack

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., Dec. 13, 2011
Senior Friends of Hebron Treasurer Karen Emmons and supporter Katherine Swenson staff the group's bake sale at Ted's IGA on Dec. 11. Photo by Melanie Savage.
Senior Friends of Hebron Treasurer Karen Emmons and supporter Katherine Swenson staff the group's bake sale at Ted's IGA on Dec. 11. Photo by Melanie Savage.

As organizations lose municipal funds due to the sluggish economy, innovative groups across the country are looking for ways to help take up the slack. Senior Friends of Hebron arose partially as a means to continue providing services to local residents over the age of 60. “We’re hoping to be able to supplement activities funded by the town,” said Friends Treasurer Karen Emmons.

Emmons and other Friends members presided over a bake sale at Ted’s IGA on Dec. 11, the second official fundraiser sponsored by the group, which formed in June of 2011. “A lot of money has been taken away from town-funded groups,” said Emmons. She added that the senior center, while still providing a wealth of activities and services for the town’s older residents, has lost at least 25 percent of its funding.

The bake sale and a tag sale held back in October will help pay legal fees incurred during the process of incorporation. “It takes a long time and a lot of money to become incorporated,” said Emmons. The process is worthwhile, though, for a number of reasons. It will allow donations to the group to qualify as tax-deductible. It will help protect the group legally. And it will give the Friends “more flexibility to represent the seniors in town,” added Katherine Swenson, a supporter of the group helping out at the tag sale.

Because the senior center is a town-supported entity, there is often copious bureaucracy involved in putting together center-affiliated events. As an independent incorporated entity, Friends will be able to avoid much of that bureaucracy.

“It’s for fun and also for fellowship,” said Emmons. Plans for the future include trips and a multi-generational fashion show. The group already counts more than 30 seniors among its membership, “and we’re expanding,” said Emmons. The group meets once a month at the town hall. Group officers are Emmons, Secretary Barbara Soderberg, President Carol Pugliese and Vice President Cecile Piette. Contact Emmons for more information, or if you are interested in attending a meeting, at 860-228-4999.

Senior Friends of Hebron is currently selling winter bird survival roosts. Outfitted with eight perches, the shelters provide a cozy spot for birds to get out of inclement weather during the harsh winter months. Contact Barbara Soderberg if you are interested in a winter roost, at 860-118-3106. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward the support of Senior Friends.


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