Hermiston Senior Center planning  fundraising effort

<p>The oldest and youngest volunteers at the Hermiston Senior Center share a moment during a luncheon event on Tuesday. Margaret Thorpe, 97, worked as the secretary for 30 years while her great-granddaughter Natelie Workman, 4, helps out in other ways around the center.</p>

The Hermiston Senior Center will eventually relocate to a brand new building, but, until that happens, volunteers remain busy working at the current location trying to raise funds for the next era.

A group of dedicated individuals are keeping the thrift store in business and continuing to offer reasonably priced meals to those in need in the community.

Shoppers examined the wares in the thrift store Tuesday as Mary Tuculet rummaged through bags of donations. Tuculet has been helping out at the thrift store for two months and said the senior center has been a valuable resource for her.

“This is a great way to get out and meet people,” Tuculet said. “They asked me if I wanted to help out, and I said sure. We hope to have this at the new building. I think it will be great for us.”

One of the leaders at the Hermiston Senior Center, Virginia Beebee, said fundraising efforts to help pay for the move will commence in coming months. Beebe said in addition to fundraisers and money generated by the thrift store, the senior center will be applying for a number of grants to help pay for the new facility.

“Right now, we are in the planning stages,” Beebe said.

“We are trying to get our ducks in a row right now. We will have more activities planned in the future so we can qualify for some of these grants.”

Beebe said she hopes the new building will be a resource that the community would be able to take advantage of for years to come.

“This is something that future generations can benefit from,” Beebe said. “It will be bigger and have more facilities. Right now, things will be a little tough , but in the long run I think it will be good.”

The timeline for the relocation is not certain according to Beebe. She said the terms of the agreement with the school district, which will own the land on which the current facility sits, states the move needs to be completed by 2016.

Beebe indicated there was some flexibility built into the agreement in terms of when the move needed to be complete, however.

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