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An emergency and a lockdown at the center

By Musetta Wollenweber

SUN Columnist

The day started out as most days do at The Den, but quickly became a day of change.

It was 9 a.m.

A quick notification from our maintenance guy, Dennis, to the gals in our kitchen, let them know there was a man with a gun outside … the cops are looking for him. My head cook notified me and I quickly locked the doors and made sure everyone stayed inside. Dispatch notified the staff at the community center that we were on lockdown — no one in, no one out.

Then we noticed there are several police cars out front on the street, behind a mini-van. Did we really see a gun aimed at the mini-van? Blink twice … OK everyone, move away from the windows.

As the time passed, I was faced with the decision to cancel our meal program for the day.

First call — to the bus clients to let them know we couldn’t get out. Yes, they all had food for the day. Good.

Next call — to the home delivered meal peeps and to them know the same. Yes, they all had food, too. Good.

Oh, and don’t forget to notify the State Unit on Aging, a requirement when a meal site is closed in an emergency situation. Yep, got that done, along with a bit of advice: Stay away from the windows.

We provide meals for two preschools. Hmm, can’t get food to them. Seeds of Learning had a board member available to get out and pick up food and I made arrangements with Subway for sandwiches for the kids. Phew, got the kids fed.

My great kitchen staff provided meals to the couple of seniors who got to spend quality time with us (they were stuck with us) as well as the community center staff. It was a bonding lunch hour, but not exactly under good circumstances.

One community center staff member said, “I’d never heard of Swedish meatballs; those we’re really good!”

Yep, my staff does good work.

The next day proved to be almost as challenging, but I was now a seasoned pro with mass dialing. Round two complete; everyone is okay.

Thank you to our local law enforcement for a peaceful ending; your work is appreciated.

Now, on with the show.

Your senior center

What you don’t know about your local senior center.

When you hear “senior center,” do you picture older people (much older than you, of course) sitting around, playing bingo?

If so, it’s time to update your vision.

Today’s senior center is not what it used to be. September is a great time to get to know your local center — it’s National Senior Center Month, sponsored by our National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC).

Help us help others

Due to budget restructuring, I am in need of a program coordinator (volunteer). Can you help answer phones that ring off the hook, create spreadsheets, enter data, come up with presentation ideas and schedule them?

The sky is kind of the limit when I consider the help I need.

You must be able to work at a fast pace and be an awesome multi-tasker, with a revolving door at your side.

Your reward for your assistance is that you fulfill the many needs of our seniors. A free lunch is a bonus, too!

I am looking for a writer to help out with the weekly article. One idea for a writer would be to interview our Senior of the Week. Perhaps you or others have ideas.

Like to greet people and lend a hand? We have the perfect opportunity for you. We are looking for people who would like to greet our folks, introduce new clients to our services, show them the ropes in the dining room and offer assistance to those needing help filling out our new client form.

Please call me at 264-2167 for an application.

Thank you

A special thank you to the folks of the downtown Subway who took a last-minute order for meals for Our Savior Lutheran Preschool kids. Due to the circumstances of a lockdown at the community center, we were unable to get meals to them. Subway came to the rescue and got our little friends’ sandwiches made. A volunteer picked them up and got them delivered — a special treat for the kids, I’m sure.

New card game

Learn to play Hand and Foot, a card game that is fun and challenging. Any number of people can play, as individuals or as partners. We’re starting a new class on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 1 p.m. Rita Werner and Cathy Van Liere will help get you started. Hope to see you there for an afternoon of cards and conversation.

Flu shots

Roll up those sleeves and get ready for your annual flu shot. San Juan Basin Health Department staff will be in our lounge Monday, Oct. 1, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. All you need is your Medicare card —it’s 100-percent covered. High dose is also available. Feel free to stick around and join us for lunch; we’re serving pork chops. If you do, remember to make a reservation at 264-2167.

For more information on the flu shot, call the Health Department at 264-2409.

Transportation 

Get out in the community and let us do the driving.

Get to where you need to go; door-to-door bus service is available Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday, and on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month for seniors age 60-plus. Suggested donation is $2 per day. Come hang out with us and enjoy our company. Call for details, 264-2167.

Special delivery

Are you struggling to get meals prepared because you are homebound, recovering from surgery or an illness?

Let us do the cooking.

Enjoy Cafe Fox meals, delivered to your door.

Our hot meal, home-delivery program is available four days per week to those living closer to town, with frozen meals for Thursdays and weekends. If you live farther out of town, you may be eligible for the frozen meal program. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $4 per meal. Give us a call at 264-2167 for further information. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Weekly activities at The Den

Friday, Sept. 14 — 9 a.m. Geezers; 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 10:30 a.m.; Brain Injury support group 10:30; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk.

Monday, Sept. 17 — 12:30 p.m. Gym walk; 1 p.m. Canasta.

Tuesday, Sept. 18 — 11 a.m. Alzheimer’s support group; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Meditation for Healing.

Wednesday, Sept. 19 — 1 p.m. Hand and Foot (card game).

Thursday, Sept. 20 — Closed, administrative day.

Friday, Sept. 21 — 9 a.m. Geezers; 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 10:30 a.m.; Book Club, 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk.

This week’s menu

Reservations required by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to dine at Cafe Fox.

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $4, guests $6, kids 12 and under $3. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act via the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal, which is approximately $10.50. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m., with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m. All meals include our great salad bar.

Friday, Sept. 14 — Chicken Fajita, cilantro rice, pinto beans, salad, red grapes.

Monday, Sept. 17 — Chicken and broccoli alfredo, Italian bread, Caesar salad, apple crisp, banana.

Tuesday, Sept. 18 — Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with country gravy, California vegetable mix, salad, whole wheat roll, fresh apple.

Wednesday, Sept. 19 — Cheeseburger with whole wheat bun, roasted sweet potatoes, salad, fruit salad with citrus, chocolate chip oatmeal cookie.

Thursday, Sept. 20 — Closed, administrative day.

Friday, Sept. 21 — Lemon chicken, oven browned potatoes, broccoli, split pea soup, chocolate pudding.

This story was posted on September 13, 2012.