As many of you know, Friends of The Center was established as an I.R.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2003 when The Center’s longstanding funding streams began to change. Until then, Iowa City and Johnson County provided 80% and 20% of The Center’s operational funding respectively. The Center didn’t have a fundraising program, Friends of The Center, or the Senior Center Endowment.
No one was particularly happy when the need to generate operational revenue through participant cost sharing and fundraising started, so I had a lot of doubts about the success of Friends of The Center. My doubts were quickly put to rest. Center participants, program partners, area businesses, and most important, people just like you stepped up (and continue to step up) to provide levels of support I was only dreaming about in 2003.
Because of you, Friends has been able to sponsor some great programs; purchase fitness equipment, tables, chairs, and audiovisual equipment; and provide ongoing support for annual operational expenses and the low-income scholarship program. Last, but certainly not least, your support has built up the Senior Center Endowment Fund to nearly $1 million!
I’m not the only grateful person around here. Participants love the activities, services, and camaraderie available at The Center. Many, many times people have told me how much they enjoy a class, what a great fitness area we have, and how The Center has helped them stay more active and involved. Some folks have talked about making new friends and how their involvement in Center programs helped lift them out of a depression or extended periods of loneliness. The Center has even spawned a couple of marriages!
There is no doubt about it—your support of Friends helps change lives.
As I prepare for my April 27 retirement from the Senior Center, I can’t adequately express to you how grateful I am for your past, current, and future support. I truly believe that the programs and services you support not only extend lives, they add health and happiness to the years lived. Thank you for helping Friends of The Center maintain and extend the great programs and services offered at The Center and facilitating its successful future.
Senior Center Coordinator