December 2020: A Look Back at a Crazy Year
In a word, COVID.
March 2020, COVID dealt a devastating blow. Many of our dedicated volunteers understandably opted to shelter in place. All Center activities were suspended except the Meals on Wheels program and the Curbside Lunch. Thank goodness Addie’s Thrift Store and the SHE SHED were able to stay open with COVID precautions in place.
November 2020, we saw a change of command as our long-time board president, Dick Blomgren stepped down and Phyllis Ault the Board Vice President stepped up to fill his shoes. The transition was not COVID related, thank goodness.
December 2020, just when we thought we were out of the woods, we had a COVID outbreak. We were fortunate that after the temporary Snowflake Center COVID closure in November, we had put an aggressive COVID plan in place for our Center. Masks were required of course, and we partitioned the Center into three zones, restricting personnel to their zone to minimize cross exposure. We decreased the number of daily staff in the Center and created “Stand-By Driver Teams” from drivers who had not been in the Center for several weeks.
When the outbreak hit the Center, NACOG, the government agency we partner with for the Meals on Wheels program, mandated that we close for 2 weeks. Phyllis Ault our board president and a Meals on Wheels driver, spent the whole day personally contacting each of our Meals on Wheels clients. She explained the situation, assuring them that their needs would be met without interruption. After ordering sandwiches from our local Subway, she then worked with NACOG to get frozen meals purchased from Walmart, Show Low and a five day supply of frozen meals from Silver Creek Senior Center in Snowflake. The Rim Country Senior Center team would like say a special thank you to the team at Silver Creek.
December 21, 2020 Rim Country Senior Community Center reopened just in time to get food baskets and our Senior Angel Tree gifts out to our Meals on Wheels seniors for Christmas.
Speaking of SENIOR ANGEL TREE, the Center would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to June ‘SASSY’ Call and her team at SKYLINE CANYON REALTY, LLC for orchestrating the Senior Angel Tree program this year. Our seniors received a gift specifically tailored to their desire, a toiletries basket and a $35 gift card to Family Dollar. On December 22nd, Santa joined our Meals on Wheels drivers Travis and Kari Branam and Jean Engelby to deliver meals and presents.
FOOD BASKETS: On December 23rd, Bob and Kim Buck also Meals on Wheels drivers, delivered food baskets from the Center’s Food Pantry that they personally sorted and tailored for each client. NOTE: The Center’s temporary closure forced us to cancel the Annual Cookie Drive, but we will catch all you bakers next year.
ADDIE’S THRIFT STORE & SHE SHED: New Hours, Starting Friday, January 1, 2021. STORE OPEN: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 9am to 1pm. STORE CLOSED: Sunday through Wednesday.
As we start the New Year 2021, we thought it would be a good time to introduce the Center’s 2021 Team.
Our Center’s Staff: Kristin Grumkoski is our new office secretary and comes to us with an extensive business background. Scott Read is our head cook since 2014 and we rely on his expertise and dedication. Shelley Neil, our new assistant cook brings catering experience.
Meals on Wheels Team, Phyllis Ault Coordinator - Volunteers: Phyllis Ault, Travis and Kari Branam, Bob and Kim Buck, Sherry Conrad and Gary Korosec, Jean Engelby, Rob and Debbie Heinemann, Janie Miranda, Yohanna Stanford, Rosalie Mueller, Mickey Repan, Jerry and Carol Stant, George and Shauna Taylor.
Addie’s Thrift Store & SHE SHED Team, Carrie Moos Manager - Volunteers: Carrie Moos, Glenda Benguhe, Carol Brake, Joyce Buchta, Penny Burch, Alyce Dodds, Joyce Plate, Corrinne Maran, Carla Polston, Patsy Richardson, Nancy Skaien, Barb Hagan, Linda Eddy, Rosalie Mueller and Cindy Krahl.
Front Desk Team, Barbara Hagan Coordinator - Volunteers: Jean Engelby, Loretta Green, Paula Grigsby, Barbara Hagan, Geline Ostgaard, Mickey Repan, Rosalie Mueller, Lynda Tallant and Nancy Tordai.
Can Sorting Volunteers, Bob and Kim Buck, Coordinators - Volunteers: Bob and Kim Buck, Barb Hagan, Monte Devore, Stan and Cindy Sassmann, Rosalie Mueller, Sherry Conrad and Gary Korosec, Nancy Graham, Jean Engelby and Joe Adair. A HUGE thank you to Doug Harris, Tony Arrigo and Jack Chapman from the Lions Club for transporting cans from the compactor to the center every month.
Kitchen Volunteers: Bob Buck, Loretta Green, Edie Leifer, Barbara Lingford, Beth Remus, Dennis Repan, Stan and Cindy Sassmann, Patricia Vaux.
We apologize if we have missed any unsung volunteer heroes. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank all who made 2020 possible through monetary and physical volunteer donations. We are especially blessed by the selfless generosity of our donors and volunteers.
2020-2021 Rim Country Senior/Community Center board:
Phyllis Ault - Board President, MOW Driver, Fundraiser
Rosalie Mueller –Board Vice-President, MOW Driver, Fundraising, Communication & Advertising Coordinator
Connie Franke - Board Treasurer, Gun Show Event Coordinator
Jean Engelby - Board Secretary, recently approved MOW Driver
Carrie Moos - Board Member, Addie’s Thrift Store/SHE SHED-Depart Head
Penny Burch - Board Member, Addie’s Assistant Depart Head
Linda Eddy - Board Member, Event Volunteer, Bake Sale Coordinator
Barbara Hagan - Board Member, RCSC Front Desk Coordinator.
Sherry Conrad - Board Member, MOW Driver, Driver for Can Fundraiser
Paula Salgado - Board Member, Summer Dinner Coordinator
All of these RCSC PROJECTS ARE POWERED BY VOLUNTEER POWER. None of these volunteers receive any financial compensation for their time. As you can see, we are a working board and RCSC is in good hands.
“CHUFFED TO BITS”
By Rosalie Mueller June 2019
“Chuffed to bits” means extremely pleased. If you are a BBC fan and have been watching British television, you know that is the vernacular of our cousins across the pond.
A lot of time and effort goes into events like this. I would like to thank my co-event coordinator Jill Blomgren and all her volunteers. We on the Rim Country Senior & Community Center (RCCC) board couldn’t be more “chuffed and grateful” for another record-breaking fundraiser. The lesson learned in the last two years has been, when you make your need known, THIS COMMUNITY steps up and meets that need. This year’s goal was $10,000 and the fundraiser raised $12,350.63. Kudos to the community.
Thank You to team Wholie Walkamolies
Phyllis Ault, who did the lion’s share of our corporate fundraising, wants to thank the merchants for their amazing participation. She devotes four months each year to this project and we couldn't do it without her. Another person we want to thank is Vienna Davis, who again raised $2000 all on her own. She said she loves doing something good for her community. Phyllis and Vienna agreed that sometimes you feel helpless over situations in your life. This is a way to take back control and make things better and it creates community bonds.
Phyllis said her heart was especially touched by the enthusiasm the American Legion Post 86 showed with their own fundraiser that raised $9000 for the Meals on Wheels program. Veterans make up a large part of the client base we serve, and we are truly grateful for the Legion’s support. These are our heroes who served us and now we get to serve them.
The Rim Country Senior/Community Center was created to support the 50+ population: the elderly and homebound in this community, but the bottom line is the Meals on Wheels program is who the Center is. The Meals on Wheels kitchen team: Scott Read, Louise Hughes, Amanda Read and Sandy Martin and the driving team: Ron Baker, Kari & Travis Branam, Phyllis Ault & Sherry Conrad, Michele Dorough, Rosalie Mueller, Janie Miranda & Johanna Stanford, Debbie & Rob Heinemann who serve fifty-two weeks a year, come rain, snow or shine would also like to thank the community. Many of our shut-ins are on hospice and, as Phyllis puts it, she feels like a part of God’s loving transition team and truer words could not be spoken. We offer so much more than just food. We do wellness checks and notify health providers when things deteriorate. We are compassionate partners supporting families and hospice.
But did you know we do so much more? The Center provides all kinds of classes for all ages. Health, driving (save on insurance), art, exercise (aerobic and yoga). Membership is only $20 a year. There are volunteer opportunities for all ages as well. You don’t need to be a member to hold your next business or family meeting at the Center.
The Perfect Symbiotic Relationship
By Rosalie Mueller May 2019
Two seemingly unrelated organizations came together to serve our community this Memorial Day Weekend. The American Legion Post 86’s held an Open House fundraiser for the Meal on Wheels (MOW) program. It was the perfect opportunity for a legion non-member to see what they are all about. As I chatted with one of the volunteers, she shared that she loves the fact that the American Legion supports our community, but that our community supports our veterans. She pointed out that when you support the MOW program, there is a very strong probability you will be supporting many veterans.
The American Legion Post 86 voted to match the amount raised at this fundraiser, dollar for dollar, thus they will be presenting the Rim Country Community Center’s Meals on Wheels program with a check for $8662.00. But it wasn’t just the Legion that supported the MOW program this weekend. It was neighbors like Jeffrey and Henry from J &H Designers Hair Studio located on Hwy 260 in Heber. Their baskets were the size of (2) six-year-old children! If you weren't there, you missed some great stuff. Like the chest full of premier quality meats and seafood donated by Bill & Mary Melchesndech, who operate the Legion’s kitchen. Even the bartending staff got into the act, with a cool basket of assorted liquor and goodies. I called it the Booze Basket. Legacy Beverage out of Show Low donated a fine collection of bar mirrors. And Legion board members Mike and Barb Bryant, Jim Chapman, Sue Arnold put together a cool “Just Chillin” basket, topped with a three foot flip-flop. Can you say Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.
About 300 people visited the Legion each day. There was lots of great food, laughter and music in the smoke free environment. The band “Triple Play” cranked up the Rock & Roll both days. Saturday night, as the jello shots kicked in, the band invited folks to come up and sing karaoke.
This weekend, I met a lot of wonderful people and learned there is a lot more to the American Legion than I knew. Here are just a few of the ways they give to our Heber/Overgaard community.
The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) is the backbone of the post and supports all of the events put on by our post.
Honor/Color guard attends funerals of vets to present full honors including 21 gun salute. They also do “Flag Raising” ceremonies for our community events and holidays.
The ALA collects clothing and personal hygiene products to donate to a Veteran’s home.
The bartender’s along with the ALA raised funds for S.A.F.E house through a fundraiser at the post.
The post hosts the British Wounded Warriors twice a year. The ALA provides meals for them and the American Legion Riders (ALR) takes them on a motorcycle ride showing off our country.
Place Christmas wreaths on all veteran’s graves in the Heber cemetery.
Have a service officer who reaches out to vets and ensures they get the VA benefits they are entitled to.
Have built home wheelchair ramps for disabled people of our community.
Hold memorial services at the post for vets who have passed away.
Host a “Flag Line” for vets that are currently serving who come home. It’s a way of welcoming our active duty personnel home to Heber-Overgaard.
In October, they provide firewood to neighbors who can’t afford it.
Donate $500 to each of our 3 schools, for teacher’s classroom supplies.
The American Legion Riders (ALR) & the Sons of American Legion (SAL’s) hosts multiple Children’s Christmas parties and give out food boxes to needy families during the holidays.
The ALR raises money for the Legacy Scholarship fund, which provides scholarships for children who have lost their parents serving our country.
Speaking for all of my fellow volunteers from the Rim Country Sr/Community Center, this has been an incredible weekend. We thank the American Legion Post 86 Commander John Belch, First Vice-Commander Jim Chapman, and Second Vice- Commander Travis Branam for this wonderful gift you gave the MOW program this weekend.
American Legion Post 86
Volunteers from left are Judy Craighead, Naomi Towner, Marilyn Miller, Michele Weninger and Karol Taylor.
When A Community Pulls Together
By Barbara Samples - June 2, 2018
The Rim Country Senior/Community Center (RCSCC) put a dream out in the community to raise $10,000 for their Meals on Wheels program. It’s unbelievable that this all volunteer organization is able to continue to keep up with expenses involved in providing meals 5 days a week through their nonprofit organization in a small mountain community such as ours. With what I consider a truly amazing feat, they exceeded their goal with the May 26th Meals on Wheels Walkathon and Festival Fundraiser! Dick Blomgren, RCSCC Board President, said it best, “All of the volunteers have just done a fantastic job and the community reception is phenomenal!”
Vienna Davis, a RCSCC member, raised $2,000 in pledges for the walk. When asked how she did it, she told me, “I would say, ‘May I ask you a question?’ and, if they said yes I would say, ‘I’m doing a walkathon for Meals on Wheels. Will you support me? I’ll walk for you.’” Simple, direct and sincere. Vienna said one man told her when his wife was terminally ill, he was so thankful for Meals on Wheels. He didn’t have cash but he wrote her a check. “You could see the appreciation on his face when he handed me that check with teary eyes,” remarked Vienna.
The walk was family friendly with lots of children with parents
and grandparents. The route was changed slightly with the
forest closure, but not enough to make much difference.
There was an area set up for children with
face painting, games, adopt a pet (stuffed ones)
and a Heber Overgaard
fire truck complete with fire fighters.
Lunch was served as well.
Even inside the Center, there were people
selling all kinds of wares.
Special mention to Rosalie Mueller, Event Organizer who did a smash up job! Thanks to the support supplied by the Heber Overgaard Fire Dept., and the Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers. Following is the list of the donor names that were available as of press time. A heart felt thank you to all donors, walkers and the many fantastic volunteers!
Steiner-Anak-Jazsa: 4 generations of family. Pictured are Ron, Carlene, Desiree, Cody, Brandy, Mica, Angel, Taber, Kiana, Cassidy, Hillarie, Adam, and Persephone. Team name: Holy Walkamolies