Silver Threads

History of the senior center written by Nila Fostvedt:

Sept.1978 – Hazel Merrigan was a human bookmobile. To many senior citizens and shut-ins in Vermillion she was a welcome visitor whose visits were eagerly awaited. They were people who couldn't get to the library.

Each week she would get books from the Vermillion library and deliver them, one week to homes of shut-ins and the next week to the nursing home.

Hazel started doing this after her husband passed away and she had lonely hours to fill. She had about 25 readers on the program. She said most people read a book a week.

"It's the old books that are the most popular," she said. "Some favorite authors are Emilie Loring, Faith Baldwin and Grace Livingston Hill. Books like �Two from Galilee,� �A Woman at the Well� and �Forsaking All Others� are asked for most often. A lot of requests for romance and mystery. If there's a romance with a mystery in it, that's better yet! Some have read �The Thorn Birds,� by Colleen McCullough. Erma Bombeck's work is also requested."

This job was highly satisfying for Hazel. She met so many interesting people. Mabel Hanson, 93, was one of her best readers. Hazel was told of this job through the "Green Thumb" Program. She was paid a little; bit did it mostly for her satisfaction.

Fitness: I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising.  I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down and perspired for an hour. But by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over!

We're all young at heart, just a little older in places!

The Vermillion Center would welcome you for activities, games and meals. You don't even need to drive, just call Vermillion Transit for a ride to and from your home and head to 320 W. Main. You are welcome any time.

More history from Nila in the next Silver Threads.

Activities and events of the center:

Sunday, Feb. 13: Pancake breakfast at the Center, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (second Sunday of every month), suggested donation of $4

Saturday, April 9: Dinner and dance at the Eagles. Watch for more information on this event. All proceeds will benefit the Center.

The silent auction event continues with items added and removed as we get appropriate bids. The Center has also started a gift shop which contains items made or donated by members and friends of the Center. We have many wonderful items including afghans, baby quilts, pot holders, gifts, glass dishes and more. If you have items you would like to donate, call or bring the items to the Center. The auction and center store items are open to the public.

Activities available:

Scrabble on Mondays at 1 p.m.; pinochle and dominoes at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays; pitch and bridge at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays; bridge and dominoes at 1 p.m. on Thursdays; and knit, stitch and portable crafts on Friday at 10 a.m.

Pancake Sunday is always the second Sunday of each month (except in May) from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The cost is $4 for pancakes, sausages, coffee and juice and is prepared by the senior men of the center. 

Visually impaired meet the second Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Center. They meet to discuss options for different types of support and equipment for visual impairment.

Foot clinic is held on Tuesdays at the Center by Sanford Vermillion Clinic, call 624-2611 for an appointment.

Vermillion Medical Clinic presents a program on health topics and checks blood pressure � check the Center for date.

Hy-Vee pharmacy visits once a month to assist with prescription help and diabetes information.

The Dakota Senior Meals prepares and serves food Monday through Friday at the center. The nutrition program is a separate program under the direction of ROCS and receive state and federal funds to help pay for a small portion of the meal cost. A donation for your meal helps support the program that is available to anyone age 60 and above.

All members of the center receive a monthly newsletter with scheduled events and activities plus a menu from Dakota Senior Meals. Members are encouraged to participate in the daily activities and events, educational and health programs, share in the book and puzzle exchange, participate in fundraisers and other activities or events. Members need to be only 40 years of age and pay an annual fee of $25 per year or $250 lifetime.

The senior center is a non-profit organization that welcomes volunteers and financial donations. We sponsor monthly fundraisers and send out requests to businesses and organizations in the community as our means of funding. If you or your group would like to help sponsor a fundraising event, please contact the center at 624-8072. Be watching for more events and activities in the next "Silver Threads."

Volunteers needed:

� to sort greeting cards, magazines, puzzles, etc.

� line dance or exercise instructor.

� to help with fundraiser dinners serving and clean up.

Donations: Donations or sponsors from businesses or friends of the Center are needed monthly to help pay for the food and supplies for each fundraiser. Thank you for any financial support you can provide to the Center. All donations and sponsors are recognized in our monthly newsletter. Your support is so appreciated.

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