Winneconne senior center gets boost from grant - April 17 2013

Community Foundation awards more than $65,000 to community programs

OSHKOSH, WI - The Senior Activity Center scheduled to open July 1 at Highlands at River Crossing in Winneconne will provide opportunities for senior citizens in the area to be active, socialize and learn new things.

"We would like this to become the premier 'hangout' for seniors in northwestern Winnebago County," says Chris Hardy, Winneconne village administrator.

The Senior Activity Center is a public-private partnership between the Village of Winneconne and the Highlands senior living community. It aims to improve the mental, physical and emotional health of local seniors by providing activities like fitness classes, movie events, card games and bingo, and sessions to explore hobbies and other interests. Scheduled activities will be offered each weekday and on some weekends, at no charge to participants.

The Senior Activity Center is one of six projects or programs to receive a Community Impact grant from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation this spring. More than $65,000 in grants were awarded.

Hardy would like to see at least 30 to 40 participants daily. The program is designed not only to keep seniors active physically, but also to provide the opportunity for people to rekindle connections and develop new relationships with their neighbors.

"Winneconne has not had a public, open gathering place like this for seniors to mingle and get to know or get re-acquainted with others," says Hardy. "This will be a great meeting place for that to occur in a year-round environment."

By having strong participation in its first year, the center hopes to secure funding from the Winnebago County Aging and Disability Resource Center in years to come.

All Winnebago County residents 55 and older are welcome to join in the activities. Highlands at River Crossing is located at 424 Cleveland St., Winneconne.

Other projects and programs that received funding benefit food pantry clients, victims of abuse, refugees and area youth. Local nonprofits sought $136, 000 in aid from the Community Foundation. Grant recipients include:

    ALPs Charter School: $500
    Support for a student project to coordinate food drives at Merrill Middle School and Merrill Elementary School.
    Best Friends of Neenah Menasha/Reach Counseling: $47,500 (over two years)
    Support to hire a full-time fundraising professional to grow donations in order to support an additional family therapist for clients at both agencies.
    Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh, Inc.: $500
    Support for the Cops and Kids program which seeks to increase the number of positive interactions youths have with the Oshkosh Police Department.
    Habitat for Humanity of Oshkosh: $6,000
    Support for an employment training program to assist new refugees in securing jobs and becoming self-sufficient.
    Reach Counseling Services: $5,000
    Support for sexual abuse counseling and advocacy for adults and children who have experienced sexual and/or physical abuse.
    Village of Winneconne: $5,544
    Support for a Senior Activity Center to provide activities that improve the physical, mental and emotional health of aging residents.

Community Impact grants are awarded three times a year to programs that help strengthen our community or address emerging needs. Only nonprofit organizations are eligible to receive Community Foundation grants. Individuals in need of services should call United Way 2-1-1 for information and referral.

For more information, contact Director of Programs Amy Putzer at 920-426-3993 or by email.

The Community Impact Fund within the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is supported by: Horace M. Faulk Memorial Fund, Norma E. Sartwell Estate Fund, E.B. Williams Fund, June F. Schwalm and A. Thomas Schwalm Fund, Helen H. and Harry G. Meeleus Fund, Julia D. and Ralph E. Petersen Fund, Clarendon J. Combs and Jessie Clark Combs Fund, William and Helen Burger Fund, Herbert C. Yagers and Mae Yagers Memorial Fund, Louis C. Draheim Fund, Richard Bork Fund and the Marjorie Drexler Fund.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.


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