Reader shows support for Blakeslee Center

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the recent letter which appeared in The Daily Sentinel from several Meigs county individuals voicing concerns over the Blakeslee Center’s contributions to the senior population in Meigs county. I for one really appreciate what such a dedicated group of people and many volunteers have done to the old Middleport High School and the county-wide services which they are providing to seniors.

Anyone who is familiar with the building both before and after would certainly be amazed at the amount of work that has been done and the results they have obtained from such large amounts of work by the staff and the many dedicated volunteers which have made it possible to make all these improvements with about half what it would have cost if the entire project had been advertised out for construction. The projects would never have been affordable that way and the result would have been the Center remaining in Pomeroy at a facility which had outgrown itself many years ago.

Even with very little funding to begin with and little help from the county, a dedicated group of staff and administrative personnel were determined that they would develop a facility that everyone in the county would be proud of. I certainly think they are well on their way towards doing this and I, as a senior citizen in Meigs county, am very proud of their efforts, even though I have not been involved in the process.

The operation of the Center takes a large amount of funding and the people operating the Center realize that. That is why they have numerous money-making activities to supplement the small amount of funds which are available to them for operation. Just having a nice place to get together is not their only concern. They realize that they have to have the necessary funding to operate programs for the seniors in our area.

Nothing is perfect and no matter how hard they try, some people will not be satisfied. But think about the small area which they had in Pomeroy and how much better it is to have a larger area where eventually much more can be offered to the seniors in our area. Also we need to remember that funds need to be made available for not only new improvements but also for daily operation.

I am sure that, eventually, all the programs which seniors want, will be made available at the Blakeslee Center but we all need to be patient and remember that their staff is also limited and have limited funds.

As far as transportation, I am sure that this problem is being discussed by personnel at the Center and Director Chris Shank at DJFS. The new public transportation system which Mr. Shank is in the process of beginning will provide the much needed transportation to not only the Blakeslee Center but transportation to many other places that seniors need to go, such as doctors, grocery stores etc.

I am not aware of how much grant funding was available for the Blakeslee Center project but I do know that there were many volunteers who helped and a staff that really participated in everything that went on.

Personally, I would like to thank all those volunteers and Blakeslee Center staff for all their work and I am very proud of what they have done for Middleport and Meigs County.

Fred L. Hoffman

A senior resident of Middleport and Meigs County