Soldotna Seniors Lenore Jones, Billie Gillilan, Marge Adolf, and Pearl Burton witht he Anniversary cake at last week's celebration.
In 1985 a few Soldotna senior citizens had a dream to organize a senior center for the local area. These dedicated individuals soon turned their dream into a reality by serving noon day potluck congregate meals at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna. With the assistance of volunteer cooks at the church’s facility the group grew and soon was short on space. It was then according to Soldotna Senior Center director Janet Fena that the Soldotna Lions Club got involved and soon the group had raised funds for their first vehicle which was driven by volunteers and provided transportation for meals and other needs of seniors.
Shortly the Soldotna Seniors were once again short on space so they negotiated with the City of Soldotna to use the Soldotna Sports Center. “There they added home delivered meals and through fundraising efforts obtained another vehicle. Working with volunteers, local and state government they began applying for a grant to build their own senior center. It was at that time that Charles and Katherine Parker generously donated the land that the Center now sits on. That was a real shot in the arm for the group and with land in hand they were able to work with local and state government to secure the funds that built the building where we are celebrating our 20th anniversary today,” said Fena. Ground breaking for the Soldotna Senior Center began in 1991 and the facility was completed in 1992.
City, Borough and State officials join in presenting proclamations honoring Soldotna Senior's 20th Anniversary.
Since the opening of the Senior Center services have been expanded to include congregate and home delivered meals, assisted and unassisted transportation support services, senior outreach programs, family caregiver programs for the Kenai Peninsula as well as visitation programs for seniors, says Fena. “This fall we will be breaking ground for an 8 unit independent senior apartment complex, thanks to grant funding that we have been able to receive. We are continuing our strategic planning into the future because the next group of seniors we see coming in are the baby boomers and we want to be sure that they are able to pick up where we have left off with providing for the future of Alaskan seniors.”
The anniversary celebration was marked at the Soldotna Senior Center with delicious food and a custom made cake for the occasion. Governor Frank Murkowski sent an official proclamation that was read by Susan Davis of the Governor’s office in Kenai. Tim Navarre read a proclamation from Borough Mayor John Williams and Soldotna City Mayor David Carey read a resolution proclaiming Saturday August 12th as Soldotna Senior Citizen day in honor of all the seniors who had worked to create the Soldotna Senior Citizens Center.
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