Bazaars and other fund-raisers sustain lively senior center

Ingrid Smith sells hot pads, placemats and tea towels at the Peninsula Senior Activities Center. SHARON WHITE photo

KLIPSAN - As you enter the sale, the sounds of Christmas seasonal music ring in your ears. One of the first bazaars of the year with a variety of wares is a necessary fund-raiser for the Peninsula Senior Center.

Operating on an annual budget of close to $50,000 a year for utilities, taxes, insurance, repairs and fix-up, the Peninsula Senior Center located in Klipsan Beach is an important part of Peninsula life.

Its 700 members pay $10 a year in dues and hold numerous fund-raisers throughout the year including a book sale, the Christmas Bazaar, an on-going craft table, monthly ice cream socials, monthly movie/luncheons and pancake breakfasts, a plant sale, annual raffle, spring and fall rummage sales, Tuesday dinners and group rental fees to support operating expenses.

According to Ken Butcher, budget chairman, the senior center is within 12 percent of its yearly budget at present.

The Spring Rummage Sale brought in $3,800 while the most recent fall sale netted $4,200. There was a $10 table fee at the bazaar held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24 and 25. Lunch sold out by 1:30 p.m. The special included clam chowder, half sandwich, dessert, and beverage for $4.50.

Offering a valuable service to the Peninsula community that has a large portion of citizens over 50. The center has activities including bridge, chess, cribbage, knitting, pinochle, senior crafters, T'ai Chi, and yoga that meet weekly charging only $1 to participate. You can even have your blood pressure taken on Fridays. The AARP and the Lions meet at the center which also provides more income.

When asked how easy it is to get another activity started, Dolores Butcher, treasurer, answered, "Come into the office (open M-F from 9-4 p.m.) and if you have two or more members, we'll schedule a time for it."

Once it is on the schedule, then you can advertise in the paper or with flyers around town and see how many others you can attract.

Dee Carbaugh, who had a bazaar table, said, "I volunteer at the senior center and enjoy the many activities that are available to us."

The bazaar itself offered a variety of items including jewelry, knitted items, teddy bears, magnets, place mats, hot pads, dish cloths and towels, window transfer art, wine bottle rings, a wide array of soaps, cake and cookie mixes in a jar, ceramics, numerous stocking stuffers and tree ornaments. Some vendors come every year, but there were some new ones this year. Five rows of merchandise left just enough room for buyers to navigate up and down the rows.

Pumpkin name tags hang from the front food counter, with one for each member who has an October birthday.

One woman who had purchased two bean bags said, "Didn't that moose and penguin bean bag just say 'Buy Me'?"

The annual raffle that is drawn at the end of the bazaar offers a variety of prizes and each member has to sell a book of six tickets. Additional tickets are sold at the bazaar. The winners of the raffle were: Doveshire Bed & Breakfast stay won by Eunice Hamlin; pearl necklace donated by Tony Garzino won by Mardell Smith; $100 donated by Kristi Kirk won by Audrey Maughan; a cross donated by Connie Day won by Genevieve Hatfield; five covered jars donated by the Fundraisers won by Rita Sather; two vinegar bottles donated by Desi Rusch won by Barbara Bate; photo of Waikiki Beach donated by Christine Perez won by Ginger Bish.

What did seniors do before the center was built? Delores said they met at various places as the Eagles in Ocean Park, the Sunset Sands Motel, the Lutheran Church and the Fire Hall. The new center provides a no-smoking environment. Nine seniors volunteer their time to keep the office open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"The Peninsula Senior Center was built without any state or federal money," said PSC President Larry Cook. "It was financed through private citizen, business and organizational donations. Several foundations also supported this worthwhile project."

The senior center will be four years old in June 2004.

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