This quilt, made by Anna Rosenbohm, is being raffled off as a fundraiser for the Rock Port Senior Center. It features an autumn color scheme and a velvety back, with leaves in the stitching. It will be on display at the Rock Port Senior Center, Citizens Bank & Trust, Do It Best and Bank Midwest.

For 30 years, the Rock Port Senior Center has served meals to the community, delivered Meals on Wheels, and provided activities for senior citizens in Rock Port.

Today, they are facing challenges that Director Carmen Ellison says may seriously hinder the center’s ability to keep the doors open. The Missouri Area Agency on Aging has recently cut funds that are vital for the center to operate. Over $7,000 that used to come from the state of Missouri and the federal government has been cut.

Thankfully, there are ways that citizens can support the center, so Carmen is faithful the community can pull together to keep this area staple providing the nutritional meals and support is has been doing for so many years. Community support, including the Rex Shandy Trust and the Morgan Trust Funds, donations and lunch patrons are all vital.

“It’s going to take this whole community to support the center, whether it’s coming in for a meal, making a monetary donation or bringing in products we can use at the center. We are thankful and appreciative of all the support because it really is those things that keep the doors open here,” Carmen said.

General bad luck can also be to blame for the loss of funds, including aging appliances and updates needed for the building, which is 30 years old. Recently, the center has needed updates and repairs on the air conditioner, the refrigerator, walk-in freezer and dishwasher.

Carmen said that when Old Fashioned Saturday Night in Rock Port was cancelled, there was a loss of a potential $1,000 in funds; but she hopes to make that up by continuing to sell raffle tickets for the quilt that was made by Anna Rosenbohm.

“There are also a number of ways we try and raise money for the center. We have the quilt raffle and we have various dinners like the chicken dinner coming up in October and the spring fish fry that are great fundraisers for us.”

“It’s been a tough year for everyone and we realize that. But if we cannot meet our budget or at least come close to it, the center is going to be in a very precarious financial situation in the upcoming year,” Carmen explained.

The Rock Port Senior Center has six employees and prepares around 1,200 meals a month for area senior citizens.

“Our goal is to help the seniors in our community be fed and to stay in their homes. I believe we can still keep this important service going if we pull together as a community,” Carmen said.

Senior citizens aged 60 and over can have a complete meal Monday-Friday for a suggested contribution. The suggested contribution is $4.50 (actual meal cost for the center is $8.00 to $9.00 per meal depending on the menu choice). Individuals who need delivered meals can also have frozen meals delivered for the weekend if needed.

“We don’t monitor who pays and who doesn’t, so we don’t want people to worry about contributing if they are not able. Our program is to provide you with a nutritious meal. We would rather see people have a meal rather than not have the money they need to buy their medicine or other bills,” said Carmen.

If anyone would like to help the Rock Port Senior Center, they can do so by donating fresh produce, general cleaning supplies like paper towels, toilet paper and dish soap. They can also donate frozen food to use at the chicken dinner and fish fry fundraisers. The quilt raffle will go on until November 1, when they draw a winner. The quilt will go on tour in the next few weeks at Citizens Bank & Trust, Do It Best and Bank Midwest in Rock Port. Tickets are $1 each or six tickets for $5. Another way to support the center is to consider renting the space for meetings, Bible studies, bridge club, and community events for a donation of a dollar a person. The cost for renting the space for weekend events like bridal or baby showers and parties is $100, which includes a $50 deposit return. Monetary donations are always appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible because the center is a non-profit. Another fundraiser are the sales of the “A Tribute to Our Heroes of Atchison County” books for $15 and the “Remember When” booklet for $5, available to purchase at the center.

Carmen also wants to remind the community that anyone aged less than 60 years can have a meal at the center for $8. The menu is printed each week in the Atchison County Mail. There is also a menu and list of other activities like bingo and exercise programs at the center. The Rock Port Senior Center serves meals Monday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.