Opinion

VOLUNTEER VIEW: Seniors programs encourage mental and physical wellness

Bellingham Senior Activity Center was established in 1961 and the Whatcom Council on Aging was incorporated in 1964.

Purpose: Whatcom Council on Aging provides nutritional, social, recreational and educational programs that promote wellness of mind and body for community members as they age. The Bellingham Senior Activity Center offers a wide range of classes, activities and services for persons 50 years of age and over to encourage emotional, mental and physical wellness for a healthy, active and independent lifestyle.

Volunteer highlights: Volunteers are the backbone of the Council on Aging. We have over 200 volunteers who help with a variety of things from being on our board and committees, working in the gift shop, assisting with events, to delivering meals for Meals On Wheels and More. Our volunteers log over 1,400 hours per month, that’s nearly 17,000 volunteer hours per year! In addition to our daily volunteer needs, we have fundraisers and events happening every month. We now have a series of four community education health and wellness events. The What’s Next series includes, Housing Options in February, A Healthier You in March, Planning for the Future in July and Medicare Awareness in October. We would not be able to offer the range of activities and services without volunteers.

Signature fundraiser: We look forward to the community supporting us at our Theater Night at the Bellingham Theatre Guild on June 17 at the showing of “The Drowsey Chaperone,” a musical that pays homage to the silly, predictable gems of the golden age of musical theater. In addition to the show, patrons will enjoy wine and appetizers and a chance to bid on fabulous silent auction items.

Wish list: At the top of our wish list is a new server for our current Business Server 2003 that as of April 1 will no longer be supported by Microsoft, a van for our Meals on Wheels and More program, and a new sound system for the Bellingham Senior Activity Center auditorium.

Volunteer needs: We are currently seeking volunteers to assist us with public relations and communications so we can get the word out to the community about our programs and services.

For more information, go online to wccoa.org.

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