Sarah Ebeling | Managing Editor
For decades the Parker Senior Center has been a place that seniors can go to eat, enjoy coffee, company and camaraderie. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed that. Due to the need for social distancing, the center has not been able to be open three days a week like normal, for its members.
As the new year gets underway, the board is looking to increase its membership. Last year, 44 seniors paid the $15 annual, per person dues, but this year, that number sits at only 10. Board member Ed Fincher explained that membership is for anyone, not just Parker residents. The only requirement is the $15 fee and that a person be 50 or older.
Along with the decrease in members is the decrease in donations. Fincher noted that years ago, area businesses would become members, just so they could help financially and today, the board would love to see that happen again.
Board member Violet Veil noted that if they had more members, once things are safer health wise, they would be able to offer more things to do for the members.
With Parker being connected to the Sioux Falls Active Generations, there are options, but as membership sits now, with them being so small, it is hard to get anything going said Fincher.
Pool players continue to play five days a week and although the senior center isn’t open, Veil said they would be happy to accommodate any members who would like the building opened.
At a meeting next month, the board will decide when they will be able to open the doors for coffee, visits, puzzles and games again for its members.
She said that there are a lot of people 50 and older who are not active members but if they would still pay the dues to become a member, the center could do so many things that it would help them. She noted too that they are in need of support from the community, not just seniors.
To learn more or become a member call Veil at 205.310.9763 or the senior center at 605.297.0176.