Conway’s senior citizen center is working toward a new building to go with an image the group feels is more fitting for its patrons.
“Right now it’s not a vibrant place,” said Lori Case Melton, one of two women leading the $2 million capital campaign to buy and renovate the Agora Conference Center on Siebenmorgan Road, the center’s future home.
The center in Conway is at 1620 Donaghey Ave., the same converted church building the seniors have used since the 1980s.
The city and its population have changed since then, Melton said, explaining that the center has seen an insurgence of older people who have moved to the area with their adult children.
Senior citizens are also different these days, she added.
“For a woman’s 75th birthday a group just went zip-lining. That’s the new senior,” she said. “People are living longer and more vibrant lives. It’s a different mindset now.”
Fundraising for the senior center’s new space slowed a bit in the summer months, but Melton and co-campaigner Linda Linn are out again on the campaign trail asking individuals and businesses for help, as well as seeking applicable grants.
September will be a big push, Melton said, since it is the National Council on Aging’s Senior Center Month, a time to promote a positive image of aging.
Some grants are pending for the $725,000 remaining sum, but Melton said she hopes locals take the chance to give to “something everyone will be able to use if they live to be old enough.”
Residents have to be 60 years old or the spouse of a 60 or older client to take part in the center’s services, which include transportation, congregate meals, home-delivered meals, and activity programming.
The new center will more than double the Conway program’s capacity, and Melton said local seniors need the room.
“Yesterday we had oil painting on one side of the room, people playing pool on the other, and gospel singing in the center. It’s a lot of put up and take down, and at the new center we will have rooms for these activities to be going on at the same time,” she said.
The group already owns the new building, and the campaign funds will help pay the bill.
Renovations are pending grant approval.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)