December 1, 2021

Seniors in Preble hope to start their own center

Valerie Puma/staff reporter

Dave Morse, a Preble town board member, visits the Preble fire station Saturday morning. Morse has helped the Preble seniors apply for a county grant to run their own senior center. The seniors will meet for a potluck luncheon on Wednesday at the fire station.

Preble resident Sue Wright didn’t give much thought to senior centers while she was working full-time, but now that she’s retired, she’s looking forward to her town starting its own grant-funded senior program.

“There is a need for the center, I think, for people to get together because Preble doesn’t really have what you would call a community center,” Wright said.

The Preble seniors hope to start their own center using a grant from Cortland County’s Area Agency on Aging. The county defunded all its seniors centers but for one in Cortland earlier this year, inviting seniors to apply for grants to run centers themselves.

The seniors are meeting at noon on Wednesday for a potluck luncheon, with turkey dinners available, at the Preble fire station. Wright said the group is still in the planning stage, but expects the first Wednesday of every month to be a pass-a-dish lunch, and then the following Wednesdays will be for activities like games, cards, bingo, presentations and more.

If you go

What: Pass-a-dish luncheon, meet with seniors and make activity suggestions
When: Noon Wednesday.
Where: Preble Fire Department, 1911 Preble Road.
Also: Anyone 55 and older is welcome to come with a guest of any age.

“We need to do more for our seniors,” said town board member Dave Morse. “They built this town, for the most part, they were born and raised here and it’s very important that we don’t forget them.”

The seniors in Preble have been working to create a senior club since winter of 2019, but the county’s grant program was a great opportunity for the group to get started, said Morse, one of the lead organizers. The group applied for an $11,500 two-year grant and await a county decision.

“The mission is to see that seniors do get together and be able to socialize, have a place where we can go and meet with other seniors,” Wright said.

Morse said he hopes the county will see the Preble senior club as a good example of a satellite site.

“If a small town like us can do it, then the bigger cities certainly can,” Morse said. In December, Homer Police Chief Bob Pitman will give a presentation to teach the seniors about scams and how they can protect themselves.

“We want them to be able to socialize, whether it’s just the luncheon, or we hope to start playing cards and we’re going to have bingo and guest speakers — we’re going to be here for the seniors as long as they want to here,” Morse said.