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Senior Connection Volunteers Have a Laugh While Celebrating
Retired Forest Service Ranger Frank Rowland has led nature walks for Senior Connection members at Smiley Creek.
Monday, April 29, 2024


Brittany Werry greeted a full house at the Senior Connection’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon this week with a story about a cat who went to heaven. At the cat’s request, God granted it a fluffy pillow so it no longer had to sleep on hardwood floors.

When six mice died a few days later, God asked them what they desired, the associate executive of The Senior Connection recounted.

“All our lives we’ve had to run,” the mice told Him. “Cats, dogs and even women with brooms have chased us. If we could only have a pair of roller skates, we wouldn’t have to run anymore.”

Board member Mardi Shepard share a moment with M. Wood at the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

A week later God checked on the cat.

“I’ve never been happier in my life,” the cat said. “And those Meals on Wheels you’ve been sending are the best!”

The Senior Connection is full of laughter and life, especially when recounting the work that goes on there, including its Meals on Wheels program.

And, while volunteers do not have to chases mice with brooms, they did volunteer 4,000 hours while serving 26,000 meals, making 6,000 home visits and providing 3,000 transports for seniors going to doctor’s visits or the monthly Diner’s Club.

Meals on Wheels coordinator Molly Green looks on as Brittany Werry tells a Meals on Wheels joke.

“We try to do our best to serve people in the Wood River Valley, and we’re honored to be serving seniors” said Board Chair Don Cunningham. “Move classes, enrichment opportunities, home care, transportation…no matter how you volunteer, you all help to make this organization what it is.”

Executive Director Jovita Pina recognized a handful of longtime supporters that are stepping down from the board after putting their time and passion for making what she called “one of the best senior centers in the state.”

Shelley Seibel has served on the board 17 years; Michael Beck, 10; Erin Buell, 8, and Robert Shuford, 2.

“I loved watching the awareness of the community grow during the time I served,” said Seibel, who vowed to continue to volunteer with the organization. “Nationally, less than 2 percent of philanthropic dollars go to senior centers so it’s nice to see the growing awareness in this community of what we do.”

Joining the board is Diane Cordes, who graduated from Boston University and moved to the Wood River Valley in 1975 after stopping in the Wood River Valley during a cross-country bicycle trip with her husband Jeff.

Cordes oversaw the financial operations for the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce before it was dissolved and served as office manager for Conrad Brothers construction company.

She co-created the Blaine County Recreation District’s Summer Youth Program in 1995 and served on the board of the Hailey Public Library for several years. She got involved with the Senior Connection several years ago, while helping an elderly friend with dementia as she had to make difficult life choices.

“I was impressed with the range of services offered and care with which they are provided to our seniors,” she said. “I’ve found it to be a very well-run organization since working on the Finance committee and look forward to continuing to work with the team here.”

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