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Wauneta community raises money for Senior Center challenge PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 10 February 2011 20:16

Local donor ups the ante as Feb. 15 deadline approaches


By Josh Sumner

The Wauneta Breeze


The Feb. 15 deadline for making donations to the Wauneta Senior Center as part of its grant-matching challenge with the Raile Family Community Foundation is fast approaching.

With less than a week to go before the cutoff, Wauneta Senior Center Board President Joey Large has good news: Not only have total donations surpassed the $5,000 goal, the Raile family has also increased the amount of the match to $7,500.

According to Large, fundraising efforts were roughly $400 away from meeting the $5,000 goal just one week ago. He made a call to Randy Raile, BWTelcom General Manager and Raile Family Community Foundation board member, to give him the update. During their conversation, Raile told Large that his foundation would be willing to up the ante of its match from $5,000 to $7,500.

Then mere minutes later, Large received another call, this time from Wauneta Senior Center Director Kerry Hamilton. Hamilton was calling to inform Large that she had just received a check that put them over the $5,000 mark.

“It’s been through a lot of gracious giving here toward the end that we matched our original donation goal,” said Large.

Now, Large and the Wauneta Senior Center is asking local community members and patrons to help make one last push toward the $7,500 mark.

Large said funds donated by the Railes are non-restrictive, meaning they can be used for any purpose the senior center sees fit. With the number of patrons eating meals at the center decreasing, Large said he envisions most donation money being used to supplement operating costs.

“In the last 15 months, our meal counts have dropped,” said Large. “When you take out 10 meals a day, at a combined donation and subsidized value of $6, that’s $60 a day. That’s $300 a week. That’s $1,200 a month.”

The drop in meal count has made it harder for the senior center to pay for bills such as labor, electricity and insurance. Large said food costs are somewhat lower due to a decrease in total volume, but everything else is fixed.

Large said he wants to emphasize that it’s been the giving of local community members — not just senior center patrons themselves — that’s made this fundraising effort a success.

“We ask enough of those who come in everyday,” said Large. “They do a lot of volunteer work, whether helping set up tables or working in the kitchen. We’re getting community support, and that’s the most important part.”

Large said he also wants to stress his gratitude to Randy Raile and the Raile Family Community Foundation.

“The senior center, medical clinic, community foundation and village have all been blessed by the Railes’ participation in this community,” said Large. “We thank them and we’re lucky to have them.”

People who want to help the Wauneta Senior Center make its new $7,500 goal before the Feb. 15 cutoff can send funds directly to the senior center, or to the Wauneta Community Foundation.