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'You make us a better community' - Shelby Senior Services Celebrates 40 Years

Hugs and handshakes, laughs and love were in ample supply at Shelby Senior Services as the organization marked its 40th Anniversary on Friday.

Well-wishers and regular clientele flowed through the organization’s facility at 1504 S. Harrison St. in a steady stream during the 3-hour event.

Mayor Tom DeBaun thanked the staff and volunteers of Senior Services, which provides physical and emotional support, and stimulating activities for the community’s older adults.

“I appreciate the work you all do; you make us a better community,” the mayor told the audience gathered in the Horizon Center, the activity room at Senior Services.

The organization incorporated originally in 1978, said Dianna Pandak, former executive director of Shelby Senior Services.

A table full of photo albums traced the history of the nonprofit group.

In 1980, a fundraising effort garnered more than $21,500, enough in matching funds to secure a grant of $64,315 to purchase the former home of Joseph Moheban, M.D., at 120 W. Washington St.

Senior Services administrative offices moved into the home at the end of that year, according to news articles saved in the photo albums.

The activity center was located elsewhere, at 945 S. Tompkins St., where the city’s parks department is now, Pandak said.

In 2007, the organization purchased its current building and consolidated operations there, she said.

Among the many activities offered is group travel.

Carol McDaniel, coordinator of the travel program, was on hand at the 40th Anniversary Open House.

“We need to reach more younger people,” she said, adding a few people in their 40s have signed up for trips next year.

Senior Services Travel Seminar, with information about next year’s trips, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 at SCP Offstage, 1416 S. Miller Ave.

Music & Memory, a program that uses music to stir the memories of those with Alzheimer’s disease, is going well, said Ralanda Smallfelt, coordinator of family caregiver services.

The program is switching from iPods to much less expensive digital music players, she said.

ShelbyGo, a bus service operated by Senior Services, runs a regular loop in Shelbyville Monday through Friday and is available for prescheduled special trips by calling 317-398-7614.

And Senior Services has three satellite centers around Shelby County.

The Fairland Center is preparing for its 4th Anniversary, said Kathy Miller, coordinator of the center located on Carey Street inside the new fire station.

A celebration is scheduled from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 23 and will feature The Marlins musical group, she said. Information is available at 317-398-4817.

Normal hours at the Fairland Center are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays.

The Morristown Center, 221 S. Washington St., is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The Waldron Center, 112 Grant St., is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays.

In Shelbyville, Senior Services is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Many other activities and services are offered. Information is available online at or by calling 317-398-0127.

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