Senior Citizens kicking off ‘March Madness’

A Spring drawing of 26 crocheted items is part of the ‘March Madness’ fundraising efforts of the Pocahontas County Senior Citizens. Tickets for the drawing are available at the three county senior centers and from members of the senior crochet class. Photo courtesy of Beth Auldridge
A Spring drawing of 26 crocheted items is part of the ‘March Madness’ fundraising efforts of the Pocahontas County Senior Citizens. Tickets for the drawing are available at the three county senior centers and from members of the senior crochet class. Photo courtesy of Beth Auldridge

While basketball fans are getting prepared for March Madness, Pocahontas County seniors are getting ready for their own month-long celebration.

Pocahontas County Senior Citizens will hold its own March Madness, a month full of events to raise money for the Meals on Wheels program.

Although Meals on Wheels is a federally and state funded program, it has suffered cuts, leading the centers to take matters into their own hands.

PCSC director John Simmons says the program reaches a large number of people in the county and is able to so because of donations, along with government funding.

“We have about eighty-two stops made,” he said. “It’s about eighty-two households and there would probably be at least one hundred and ten individuals.”

The meals are delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and have been cut back from seven a week to five.

“We were the only county in the state that was at seven days a week anyway, but our contract calls for five days a week,” Simmons said. “We did increase the shelf-stable meals so they have something to eat over the weekend. Canned and boxed, and blizzard packs.”

Along with the delivered meals, the centers in Green Bank, Marlinton and Hillsboro have daily meals. Not a single morsel of those meals go to waste, either.

“We put leftovers in containers and we have a machine that seals them,” Simmons explained. “What’s leftover from lunch – we don’t put anything in the garbage – we’ll make a meal, seal it and freeze it. Then they can pull out a frozen meal and use it. That way, we don’t have waste.”

Pocahontas County has the highest ratio of seniors of all the counties in the state, Simmons said.

“According to the 2010 Census, the population was about 8,700 and 2,420 were seniors – 60 and above,” he said. “It’s increasing more all the time.”

The Meals on Wheels program is one of the three main services offered by the senior centers. They also provide transportation for medical appointments and shopping trips; and a homemakers program which sends caretakers into the homes of seniors in need.

The March Madness begins with a kick-off spaghetti dinner at the Green Bank center, Sunday, March 2, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Members of the Marlinton Crochet Class made 26 items for a spring drawing. Tickets are $1 each and are available now at the senior centers or from crochet class members. The drawing will be held Thursday, March 21, at 1 p.m. at the Marlinton center.

The Hillsboro center will host a Food and Fun Day celebration Saturday, March 22, from noon to 5 p.m. The event will include live entertainment, games, crafts and food.

For more information on upcoming March Madness events, contact the centers at: Green Bank, 304-456-5370; Marlinton, 304-799-6337; and Hillsboro, 304-653-4516.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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