"Do not cast me off in the time of old age" is a psalmist saying that reflects a very real fear of today's elderly.
For those senior citizens not living in housing centers where support and recreational programs are available, life can be a grim monotony.The James L. White Jewish Community Center at 2416 East 1700 South is providing services for 187 elderly residents of all races and religions who live within a 50-mile radius of the center. But meeting the needs of these senior citizens has become increasingly difficult because of transportation shortages.
A new 13-passenger van fully equipped for the elderly and handicapped will be purchased by the center as a result of a major grant awarded by the FHP Foundation.
Presenting the grant Thursday evening at the JCC Annual Meeting was former governor Scott Matheson, a board member of the foundation. Matheson told the JCC members assembled at the center, "The Jewish Community Center is a great resource for this community and provides a great deal of services." Matheson said the FHP Foundation was interested in providing direct services to seniors as well as research. In granting $74,050 to the JCC's Senior Adult (Chai Havarah) programs, Matheson said, "With the purchase of a new van for the center, the recreational, social and cultural needs of your seniors can be meet." Matheson mentioned that the average age of the seniors served at the center is 85.
The grant will also enable the center to renovate its parking lot for handicapped parking and provide wheelchair ramps to the building. Existing restrooms will also be renovated for the handicapped.
Sandy Dolowitz accepted the award in behalf of Bernard D. Solomon, president of the center, who missed his first JCC meeting in 17 years because of illness.