Published On: Wed, Nov 30th, 2011

Local Senior Center receives good report card

HARTINGTON — The Hartington Senior Center received high marks on a recent evaluation that was done by the Northeast Nebraska Area Agency on Aging.
Mary Humphrey, Nutrition, Health and Services Coordinator for the NENAAA congratulated the Hartington Center on the good food served and the work being done at the Center by Manager Elaine Bruening.
“The files are very organized. Elaine has done an excellent job,” Humphrey said in her evaluation.

Humphrey said the meal was delicious on the day she visited the Center.
“The chicken breast was very tender, the potato salad and baked beans had a very good flavor,” Humphrey said. “The baked dinner rolls not only smelled wonderful during the baking process, but were well received by the participants and the homemade pumpkin cake topped this meal off — great job.”
The Hartington Center serves noon meals Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; an evening meal at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays; and makes home deliveries.
The Hartington Center was commended on providing the evening meal followed by Bingo each week and for serving another community in the county.
“My hat is off to you for doing evening meals on Tuesdays since the average number served is 45 and also for serving the community of St. Helena once a month with 30 to 40 people participating in the meals there,” Humphrey said.
The Hartington Senior Center receives only partial funding, which comes from the NENAAA through the Older Americans Act.
“They believe people will be healthier and able to stay in their own homes longer when they get out and socialize more,” Bruening said.
The Hartington Center receives some donations and has a number of fund raisers throughout the year to bring in money to support the Center.
“We rely on fundraisers extensively,” Bruening said. “We receive some financial help but it is not enough to support the Center.”
A Fall Fundraiser/Raffle will be held Dec. 1. The proceeds will be matched up to $2,500 by the Home Office of Modern Woodmen of America.
The event will include a Thanksgiving and Pre-Christmas Dinner along with a raffle that includes a quilt, cash prizes, gift certificates and other prizes.
The Center hosts a pancake/waffle breakfast the second Sunday of every month, except during May, and also brings in funds by holding special evening meals during the year.

The Hartington Center has two staff members — Bruening, and Beth Wood, who does the cooking.
The Center relies heavily on help received from a number of volunteers.
“We have some dedicated volunteers. They do a lot,” Bruening said. “We could not get along without them. They help with home deliveries, cleaning and assist with fundraisers.”
Young adults from North Star Services wash dishes and wrap silverware three days each week.
Throughout the year, the fifth grade students from Holy Trinity Grade School help out with serving and occasionally provide entertainment.
Some of the sixth grade students from Holy Trinity will be serving the Thanksgiving/Pre-Christmas meal Dec. 1.
Golden Living Center provides Bingo after the “birthday meal” which is served the last Thursday of each month.
Health screenings for blood pressure and glucose are available ahead of the birthday meal.
Foot care is done once a month at the Hartington Center.
People in the community are invited to stop at the Center for a game of Sheephead on Wednesday mornings and Bridge on Thursday mornings, and card clubs are welcome to have their meetings at the Center, said Bruening. The Center will serve refreshments to the group during the afternoon.
A new exercise room is now available at the Center. Visitors can also watch TV, read magazines or use the computer at the Center.
The Hartington Center is a hub of information for those in the community who are 60 and older.
A number of programs and instruction on nutrition, physical fitness and “over-all good health” are provided for groups or individuals.
Bruening can also help individuals with information on Medicare and the Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
Options are also available on a one-on-one basis for financial and tax assistance counseling.
General information on existing services and benefits that are available in the community can be obtained at the Center.
The Hartington Senior Center does more than dish up tasty, nutritious meals — the Center has a broad spectrum of services for older persons.
The first “senior citizen meal” was dished up in Hartington in 1969.
The first Senior Citizen Center in Hartington started out in a building on Broadway Street, which had at one time housed the Post Office. The building is currently home to Floral Designs.

The Center, which was only open one day a week at first, started with just a few senior citizens. People brought in food and donated equipment. The Center had very few operating funds.
In 1970, the Center moved into a rent-free building on West Centre Street provided by the Schulte family. Meals were prepared for seniors and “Meals on Wheels” took shape. For a time, meals were delivered by a Green Thumb worker to Senior Citizens in Coleridge.
The Center purchased property in 1983 and moved into the present facility after remodeling was completed.
An opening was made between two buildings — a former bakery and a building that had housed a medical clinic — for the new home of the Hartington Senior Center.
The records show the mortgage on the property was burned Sept. 24, 2002.