Juli Buhman, left, retired as Tarkio Nutrition Center Administrator last week and taking her place is Erika Daugherty, right.

The Tarkio Rotary Club, the Tarkio Nutrition Center Board, and the Tarkio Nutrition Center patrons presented Juli Buhman with some special honors to thank her for her years of service at the center and to send her off to retirement with a smile. The Rotary Club gave Juli a plaque and the money on the tree was collected and donated by the center’s patrons. Darryl Lowrey is pictured representing both the Tarkio Rotary Club and Tarkio Nutrition Center board.

Tarkio Nutrition Center employees, volunteers, and patrons said goodbye to long-time employee Juli Buhman last week. Juli is retiring as the administrator, having worked in that capacity since 2016.

Juli began at the Nutrition Center as a cook in 2008 under administrator David Merriett. She’s been a shining light to the center since she began and has overseen many positive changes to the facility over the last several years. The center has built on, adding a walk-in freezer/cooler creating much more space. They also built a new pantry, put in new carpeting and painted, created a lending library, and fixed the crumbling wall outside created in the demolition of an adjacent building. COVID-19 hit the facility hard, decreasing their numbers from 100 to 60-80 served daily. However, Julie and her staff were able to implement and provide curbside service to patrons unable to come inside due to health concerns and have continued to get meals delivered to home-bound residents thanks to the many volunteers who deliver.

Juli’s personality is a big reason people enjoy stopping by each day. During this interview, not a single person walked by without stopping Julie and telling her how much they will miss her. And Juli said that she will miss them all the most. She will also miss the employees and volunteers who have worked with her for so many years to provide such a wonderful service to the senior community. “It’s been a wonderful experience and a pleasure to work with the seniors, staff, and volunteers and it’s been an honor to serve at this facility.”

Juli’s plans for retirement include spending more time with her family. She has a two-year-old grandson she plans on visiting and spoiling as much as possible.

Taking her place at the center is Erika Daugherty of Rock Port. Erika began training under Juli December 6. She was previously the admin./secretary at Rock Port United Methodist Church and the Rock Port Ministerial Alliance. She has worked as the administrator of the Rock Port Community Housing since 2018 and she says that experience has really paid off in providing needed knowledge to run the Tarkio Nutrition Center. While at the center, she’s been working on the computers, getting them updated, but for the most part is taking it day by day. Her main objective to start off with is to get to know all of the patrons and volunteers and employees at the center. She said everyone has been wonderful.