By Chetco Activity Center Board of Directors

In late 2018 and early 2019, the news was full of statements and claims that one of Curry County’s oldest non-profits was in imminent danger of dissolving. We are speaking of the Chetco (Senior) Activity Center on Chetco Lane.

We attempted last fall to correct misinformation by inviting a Curry Pilot reporter to our open meeting of the board to dispel the rumors. Our attempt misfired with the result of more rumors circulating in the news.

None of this was the fault of the Curry Pilot or the reporter, who merely reported what people said, and printed letters responding to these articles. Using the same power of the local print news, we would like to inform our constituents of some things we have done this year to improve the atmosphere and health of your activity center.

First, the finances of the center were questioned, as to whether they were being properly used as directed by the original benefactors. For six months we underwent examination by the Oregon Department of Justice, who oversees all non-profits; as of May this year, the DOJ has verified our processes and procedures and approved all our financial statements going back to 2015.

Second, we have started a plan to revitalize and update our kitchen for the Meals-on-Wheels program. This requires more grant writing and more funding be found. We have recently been contracted, through Southern Oregon Business Employment Corporation, to prepare the Gold Beach Meals-on-Wheels. We are thankful for receiving grants from the Coquille Tribal Community Fund and the Ford Family Foundation for a new stove to prepare more meals.

Third, we have increased the training of our paid staff and our multitude of volunteers. Our recent Volunteers’ Appreciation Brunch expresses how much we value all these generous people, without whom we could never fulfill our mission, that Brookings always have a place for seniors.

And fourth, we have determined some ways for improving the food in our dining room experience at lunchtime. New updated equipment is always needed. Comments show that our in-house diners like the new recipes and salad bar additions and the health department approves our upgrades. Please come join us for lunch, Monday through Friday.

Healthful and stimulating activities are going on almost every weekday — classes of Thai Chi and Yoga, lessons for bridge, informal groups for Mah Jong and many card games, ukelele sing-alongs, low impact exercises, weekly bingo and respite care. Off-site activities include Walk-with-Ease and Pickle Ball.

Please see our full schedule on our Facebook page, or come into the center at 550 Chetco Lane to pick one up.

We have other services periodically, and seasonally, such as Senior Drive Safe classes and, at tax time, volunteers who will do your taxes by appointment. This year we helped 880 people with their taxes.

The Chetco Activity Center was conceived and built by more than 80 local families, however, we will always need talented adults of any age to help us increase membership, write grants, seek donations, or directly volunteer their time to the center. We invite your input, your help, and your participation. Most activities are not reliant on your age or income, and anyone can be a member for just $20 a year (associate members are under age 50 and do not have voting rights). You could even volunteer to be a member of our Board of Directors if you have the talent for that.

We commend the Curry Pilot for supporting us and showing responsiveness to our perceived problems. We are grateful for the many wonderful people we get to know by working together.

Dedicated as we are to the mission statement — “The purpose of the Chetco Activity Center is to always provide services, functions, and activities for seniors in and about Brookings-Harbor” — join us in preserving a truly priceless resource on the Wild Rivers Coast, serving seniors since 1987.

The Chetco Activity Center Board of Directors includes Penny Goolsby, Glenda Groff, Rita Howard, Kathryn Justman, Carol Owens, Beverly Pieretti, and Nicky Van Noort.