By Alison Cservenschi
Bedford Council on Aging Director
On behalf of the seniors of the Town of Bedford and the staff of the Bedford Council on Aging (COA), I would like to express our gratitude to the Friends of the Bedford Council on Aging for your work, support and fundraising efforts in 2018.
This year has seen exciting programs flourish and grow with your direction and support. Our first monthly Memory Café continued, in collaboration with Cooperative Elders Inc and community volunteers, including Sandy Alexander of the FBCOA. This program has supported a number of couples and family members as they adapt to life with their loved one dealing with memory loss. The program has engaged those most vulnerable in our community who may not have had another opportunity like this in Bedford without this program.
Again we were able to run the Sand Bucket ‘falls prevention’ project successfully with another coordinated effort in FBCOA support and outreach to isolated seniors. This year we also offered a Thank You pizza party for the Troop who assisted with the buckets. With help from the FBCOA, we were able to offer 8 successful trips with 247 adventurers traveling around the local area. We appreciate the $200 buffer for trips from the FBCOA which allows us the flexibility to cover a slot to keep a trip going instead of canceling it. Although we did not need to use it this year it is comforting to know we have it if needed. The FBCOA also allowed us, this year, to purchase snacks and treats for trips which added another welcome extra to the successful trips and are always well received.
Thank you for the funding for our annual holiday party again this year. We welcomed 70 people and I hope you can agree that it was a great success. It was also made so much less stressful at the end with the FBCOA stepping in to help clean up! The COA staff cannot thank you enough during the holiday season for the assistance at the exact time it was needed most. Your assistance to cover the Fix-It Shop desk and keeping operations running smoothly was also appreciated this year with a sudden, unexpected absence. The Fix It Shop helps so many people in the Bedford community and beyond and it keeps the boys busy, and out of trouble too.
We are grateful for the FBCOA’s decision this year to pay our monthly subscription for movies on Netflix with a credit card. This payment method has simplified the process and movies continue to be popular Saturday programs, averaging 35 to 40 people each week. 24,670 visits occurred at the COA in 2018 and everyone who attended enjoyed the hospitality we are also able to offer due to your on-going monthly contribution supplementing our limited budget.
Your work helps support the community in many ways and helps the COA improve our offerings to meet the needs of Bedford’s growing number of older adults. It is with this type of community and senior-centered effort that we can make Bedford a great place for our seniors to thrive. The COA staff and I truly appreciate and thank you for all you do. We look forward to more fundraising projects and collaborative efforts with you, the FBCOA, the community and the COA staff in 2019.
Thank you again for all your work, support and leadership of this essential organization.