By: Duane Blankenship | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2016
Broken Arrow Senior Center employees Ami Bucher and June Ross are shown with Allegiant Operations Manager Jeremy Street and the in-ground Allegiant Storm Shelter that will be awarded to the holder of the winning ticket in the annual Senior Center fundraiser.
The Broken Arrow Senior Center provides seniors access to a safe, comfortable place to meet new and old friends. The center hosts dozens of activities including line dancing, Monday night dances, fitness classes, cards and dominoes, scrapbooking, painting, pool, quilting, bingo, pot luck luncheons, field trips, ukulele jam sessions, tai chi and so much more. Executive Director for Broken Arrow Seniors, Inc. June Ross said, “We like to think of our center as a YMCA for kids 55 and older.”
Membership to the center is only $20 per year. “Membership includes a monthly newsletter that is full of exciting, tailor-made daily activities,” said Senior Center Newsletter Editor Ami Bucher. “The center hosts an average of 160 seniors each day engaging in programmed activities.” It is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and an evening dance is held each Monday from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
A pot luck luncheon is held the second Friday of each month, where birthdays of the month are celebrated. The Senior Center is also the host agency for the Tulsa County Senior Nutrition Program, serving free lunches daily to those 60 years of age or older. Members of the Senior Center also deliver free lunches to seniors who are homebound.
“Our mission is to promote healthy aging to our seniors through physical activities, socialization and educational opportunities,” said June. Broken Arrow Seniors sponsors four major fundraisers each year, including a health fair, two Bunko community events, and an opportunity to win an in-ground storm shelter.
The storm shelter event is currently in progress, whereby participants receive one raffle ticket for each $10 donation. All proceeds benefit the Broken Arrow Senior Center. Allegiant Precast Concrete is the major sponsor and has donated an Easy Access FEMA-approved shelter. The winning ticket will be drawn May 20, 2016. The package includes storm shelter, delivery and installation, with a retail value of $3,400.
The Easy Access model is a pre-cast, 4000+ psi concrete shelter. It measures 6’x12’, has 5” thick walls and a 15-year written guarantee. It accommodates up to ten adults. The steel door opens and closes easily, and the roof sports an 8” wind turbine and two air exchange vents that perpetually ventilate air through the shelter. A key feature is the 45 degree angle, easy-access concrete steps with handrail that begin at ground level.
The Senior Center has 2,400 members. Those 90 and over are made Honorary Members and are exempt from paying the annual membership fee. You must be 55 or older to join. The Broken Arrow Senior Center is a United Way Agency and is supported by the City of Broken Arrow and many businesses and civic groups, including Broken Arrow Civitans and Rotary.
“We are always in need of volunteers,” said June, “and there are many opportunities to get involved.”
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.
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