Senior Club to benefit from grant funds

Published 5:05 pm Thursday, November 17, 2016

BELHAVEN — The Belhaven Senior Club is taking another step forward, thanks to a recent grant award to the Town of Belhaven.

At Monday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting, town Manager Woody Jarvis announced that the town was awarded about $146,000 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

The money, to be received after Christmas, will go toward renovating the main floor of the old town hall, located on East Main Street, into which the club intends to move. The building also houses the Belhaven Memorial Museum on the second floor.

The Belhaven Senior Center closed earlier this year due to lack of participation, but a group of residents has worked to keep the activities alive, renaming themselves the Senior Club and meeting at Kay Lee’s Corner.

“Its mission and its purpose is to elevate the quality of life for our citizens as they age,” club committee member Dave Rieves said Monday night.

Rieves said the club is seeking to meet seniors’ needs mentally, emotionally and physically. It currently offers assistance with insurance and Medicare/Medicaid, home-delivered meals, support groups, tax assistance and activities such as knitting, painting and bridge.

He said the club wants to start offering sing-alongs and dance groups, and club members are looking to the town hall renovations to give them the space to do that. Space is one of a couple of hurdles to address for the club, according to Rieves.

“There again, we need room to do that (new groups),” Rieves said. “We’ve got people out there that need transportation, and we don’t have any way to do that.”

Rieves told the Board of Aldermen that the club recently received designation as a 501c3 nonprofit, and it will be able to apply for more grants in the future to help with these hurdles.

Although the town is excited and grateful for the Kate B. Reynolds funds, Jarvis said the town hall renovations are still far from being covered, and the town will continue looking for funds.

“We’re still remembering the museum above us,” Jarvis said. “We’re still going to be looking for $75,000 or so.”