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Super Duper Bathroom Gets a Workout, Thanks to Philanthropic Women
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Wednesday, March 27, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

It’s not particularly sexy. And, so far at least, it hasn’t attracted the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio.

But the new wheelchair- and caregiver-friendly bathroom at The Senior Connection in Hailey is getting a workout—even from passersby.

Teresa Beahen Lipman thanked the Wood River Women’s Foundation last week for their $25,000 contribution that made the bathroom a reality.

Lipman said the seniors were able to repurpose an underutilized space to build the bathroom next to the dining hall. The bathroom is big enough that one person can assist a person in a wheelchair. There are grab bars and a higher toilet seat. There is also a shower.

“We have couples who stop at the Senior Connection to use it when they’re out and about because they can’t use conventional bathrooms, and they know they’re welcome to use that bathroom,” Lipman said. “Using public bathrooms can be physically and emotionally challenging for some people. You gave us and our seniors a bathroom that was much needed.”

Beahen addressed the WRWF at one of its new members get-togethers held at Gail Severn Gallery.

She noted that The Senior Connection also was the beneficiary of a $25,000 grant for a wheelchair-accessible transit van a couple years ago.

“You’re making some pretty exciting projects happen,” Lipman told the women. “Less than 2 percent of philanthropic donations goes towards organizations supporting the elderly. We turn a blind eye to seniors and certainly bathrooms, but you are strategic changers.”

Grants representative Julie Brewer announced that the philanthropic organization received 38 grant applications from nonprofits this year. Members narrowed the list down to 18 after vetting each proposal. They are currently voting on which proposals they wish to fund—voting ends March 29.

The Wood River Women’s Foundation has received 18 new members since December, bringing the total to 335 members. Each woman contributes $1,100 a year, all but $100 of which is donated to nonprofits. Women can avail themselves of a half-price membership the first year, as the other half is covered by other women in the organization.

The organization was started a dozen years ago by Jo Murray and Barbara Thrasher. They hosted a tea for about 35 women the first year to acquaint them with the idea.

“Nobody drank the tea so we went to wine thereafter,” said Terri LeFaivre.

In 2018 the organization made $334, 878 to local nonprofits.

“You’re enhancing the community in more ways that you can imagine,” Eder told the women.

PHOTO

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