Senior Center has 40th birthday party
LEDGER – The Mitchell County Senior Center this past week turned 40 years old.
The center began in 1976. In 1979, the group used state grant money to buy the former Brown’s Fish House on NC Highway 226. Services continued at Brown’s Fish House until Dec. 28, 1992, when it moved to its current building in Ledger, which is a 12,000-square-foot structure on land donated by Mitchell County to the Mitchell County Council on Aging.
Construction of the current building was made possible by gifts, grants, fundraising, money from the sale of the former center and self-help work. When the grant money was gone, the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners voted to assist the Mitchell County Council on Aging Advisory Board in paying off the center’s remaining debt, which was done in 2000 and commemorated by a note-burning ceremony.
“As Chair of the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners, I could not be more proud of our Center,” Vern Grindstaff said. “ (Senior Center Director) Kathy Garland and her staff truly have a heart for every client. They care about the needs of everyone and watch out for our seniors.”
The center was decorated and a collection of archives documenting its history was on display.
The center served more than 20,000 Meals on Wheels and more than 12,000 meals in the facility in 2017.
“Forty years is a lot of meals, a lot of in-home aide hours, a lot of transportation and a lot of touching lives,” Garland said. “Thank you to all those who came before me for paving the road. Thank you to our current staff for your passion and hard work and thanks to all who attended.”
The Mitchell County Council on Aging Advisory Board contracts with Mitchell County for the day-to-day operations of the center.