The Marceline Senior Center has been serving Marceline, Bucklin and Chariton County residents since the center opened in 1974.
The center has received funding this year from the Northwest Missouri Area Agency on Aging and will continue to serve the community.
A majority of funding for senior centers in northwest Missouri comes from the Northwest Missouri Area Agency on Aging, NWMOAAA. The Marceline Senior Center and the Brookfield Senior Center both receive their operating funds from this organization. The senior centers must meet stringent guidelines in order to be funded. Funding can be revoked, if the requirements are not met.
Last year the Stella Grinstead Center in Cameron, Mo lost its funding from the NWMOAAA. The Cameron center had been advised by the NWMOAAA to lower the price of admission three times, but declined.
According to NWMOAAA representative Rebecca Flaherty, the agency works to keep centers serving communities.
“It’s never our idea to close a senior center,” Flaherty said. “We work closely with each senior center.”
The NWMOAAA receives its funding for meals from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services splits funds between 10 different agencies.
A Facebook post in April suggested the Marceline Senior Center may have lost its funding from NWMOAAA. According Marceline Senior Center administrator Gaye Bell, this has never been the case.
“We have been contracted every year since 1986,” Bell said. “The center is not going to close anytime soon.”
In reaction to the Facebook post, many local seniors contacted the NWMOAAA and local legislatures to provide funding. The senior center has received its funding for this year. The senior center will have to reapply for 2019 funding through the NWMOAAA at the end of this year.
The Marceline Senior Center serves 60 to 80 people Monday through Friday in the congregate dining room. The senior center also delivers 52 meals in the area.
Marceline local Mike Wrenn has started a fundraiser with the senior center. Wrenn plans to donate a dollar for every meal served at the center from June 1 to Dec. 31 this year, with a maximum of $400 a month. Wrenn has supported the center in the past donating funds and advertising the center on 99.1 KDWD.
In her time at the senior center, Bell has worked to increase funding. Bell has organized an annual silent auction and monthly senior dances to improve the center’s reserve funding. The Marceline Senior Center is located at 229 W. Hauser St.
Bell has been with the center since 1986. Prior to becoming the administrator, Bell was homemaker. When the administrator position became available 32 years ago, Bell sprung at the chance to work directly with the senior community.
According to Bell, the job is a good fit.
“There was something that really drew me to the job,” Bell said. “This job is what gets me going everyday.”