The Bonne Terre Senior Center has a new director and she has big ideas to help it run more smoothly.
Robyn Turner worked for the North County School District for 10 and a half years as a paraprofessional and decided she needed a change of scenery.
Turner started her new position as director of the senior center on Dec. 15 and she said that so far, it has been a challenge unlike anything she has ever done before.
“It’s a non-profit organization and I’ve got to make sure all the numbers are crunched, are equal and they have to measure up to what they are supposed to be,” said Turner. “This time of year it is slow because of the weather being so cold, so we went around distributing flyers last week inviting people to come up. We are also asking for volunteers, we are need of volunteer drivers and volunteers at the check-in desk a couple of days a week. We also need more seniors to come up.”
The senior center distributes about 70 meals a day, which is why they are in need drivers.
Turner said they have a 90-year-old woman who volunteers.
“She does a lot of the paperwork and delivers meals to Lake Timberline every week,” said Turner. “She is invaluable, as are the rest of our volunteers. She usually honks whenever she gets there and if they are able they will meet her at the door and she will walk the meal in. She is pretty amazing and volunteers all over the town helping with all different organizations.”
Turner said to her understanding, there wasn’t a whole lot of fundraisers done previously, so she would like to do one fundraiser a month. The first one will be a Valentine’s Day meal and dance.
“We will serve a steak dinner from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and following the lunch there will be music until 2 p.m.,” said Turner. “There are only 42 tickets available for the Valentine’s Day meal and dance and they are on sale at the check-in desk for $5. Since that is a Saturday, we will be closed the Friday before. We also hope to have an ice cream bar during the Annual Fourth of July Celebration to help everyone cool off.”
She added that she has plenty of ideas for different fundraisers but she wants to run those ideas by the staff to get their thoughts and input. There has also been a new addition to the senior center that Turner had brought in. She said that it’s a donation that is close to her heart.
“I had my mom’s piano bought in,” said Turner. “It was my mom’s graduation present from her parents. It had been taking up wall space in my house and I talked to my brother about it and he agreed that my mom would like it to be donated to the center. We are looking for someone who can tune it for us. It has already been played by one of the seniors and I’m hoping it will be a great benefit to everyone down here.”
The Bonne Terre Senior Center is staffed by the director and six employees. Two of the employees are from Experience Works, which is an organization that placed them in the job and pays their salary.
Turner said they are the only nutrition in the area that has an open salad bar at every meal. The suggested price for a meal is a $3 donation for 60 years old and up, and a $5 donation for those younger than 60 years.
“Since we are a non-profit organization we can only suggest prices,” said Turner. “It actually costs about $6 a meal to make it. That is why we are hoping to have more fundraisers, to make up the cost.”
They can always use paper products and monetary donations. Anyone who is interested in volunteering can call the senior center at 573-358-3726.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com