Are Nectar seniors forgotten?




Happy campers at the Nectar Senior Center

Happy campers at the Nectar Senior Center

A handful of Nectar senior citizens has created a community within a community. Some gather at the senior center daily, some as often as they can afford the bus fare. A few exist only quietly in clouded memories, but most are unbelievably productive.

Nora Sims, center director, leads and encourages them as they quilt, knit, sing, and play bingo and dominoes. With little money to buy bingo prizes, the women create prizes for the winners of their games. Also, as their contibution to those less fortunate, they make lap warmer quilts and knit caps they call “boggins” to donate to cancer patients.

On a shoestring budget

The group’s financial support from public funding is scarce and very basic at best. According to Charlie Tawbush, whom the group elected as its president, the senior citizens in the community held many fundraiser events to raise money to build the center, which is attached to the town hall. They sold covereddish dinners, fried pies, and quilts and solicited donations to buy blocks for the structure and to furnish it with tables and chairs.

The town furnishes utilities for the center, but the center is required to pay the town $100 a month in rent. “We are the only center in the county who has to pay rent. We have to pay rent on a building we paid for,” Tawbush said.

Not asking for a lot

Their needs are not extravagant, but rising costs and a sagging economy have put a squeeze on their ability to buy craft materials. The artists need art supplies, the quilters need the stuff quilts are made of, and the knitters need yarn.

Betty Gilliland is a volunteer who visits the center weekly to bring new ideas and whatever supplies she can round up. Nora Sims, the center’s only paid employee, is on hand every day from open to close to see that those who come are well cared for.

“We would really like to have more of our seniors to come. I believe there may be some who would come if they knew we are here. There are no signs on the highway to point us out. That would help more people to find us.

“We would just appreciate so much any materials, supplies, or volunteers,” Nora said. Tawbush added, “These are the people who built this community; some even worked on constructing this building.”