LEAD — The Twin City Senior Citizens Center gifted nine local non-profit organizations with $1,000 each on Monday.
President Dale Peters said the money is a portion of the proceeds that the Senior Center received when the group sold its building on Main Street, last year. Peters said increased operating costs and decreased donations and memberships prompted the board to sell the building. Since then, the senior center has been meeting at the Rod and Gun Club for potluck lunches on the second Monday of every month.
Peters said the senior center board decided to gift its excess funds to support other worthy organizations that work hard to make Lead-Deadwood great. Organizations receiving funds included the Boys and Girls Club of Lead-Deadwood, Clothe-a-Kid, Lawrence County Teen Court, Lead-Deadwood Ministerial Association, the Lord’s Cupboard, Northern Hills Community Band, the Rod & Gun Club, Twin City Animal Shelter, and Twin City Area Clothing Center.
Teah Pray, who accepted the $1,000 donation for the Twin City Animal Shelter said the money will be used to care for the animals and for the organization’s spay/neuter program. The program pays the costs for animals in Lead and Deadwood to be spayed and neutered, and it extends a portion of that assistance to outlying areas around the Northern Hills.
“We are the only shelter in the area that has a community spay and neuter fund,” Pray said. “It is the only answer to our pet over population crisis that we are truly in. There simply are not enough good homes for all of the pets.”
Pray explained that the Twin City Animal Shelter is operated by six volunteers, who have all been giving their time for the last 24 years.
“That is three times a day, 365 days a year,” she said. “It’s a passion the six of us all have, and we could not even come close to doing what we do without help from groups like yours.”
Sue Holloway, who accepted the donation on behalf of Clothe-a-Kid, explained that the organization buys school clothes for students in the Lead-Deadwood School District who sign up to participate in the program. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are allotted $60, and students in sixth through 12th grade are given $75 to shop for school clothes. Last year, Holloway said 110 students signed up for the program.
Lexi Lux, who accepted the $1,000 donation on behalf of Lawrence County Teen Court thanked the senior center for supporting the organization’s mission to help troubled teens make better choices. The organization offers teens in the court system the chance to be sentenced by a jury of their peers to education programs and community service hours, without the minor criminal offenses remaining on the teens’ record. Last year, Lux said 90 percent of the teens who went through the system successfully completed their sentences and changed their lives.
“On Jan. 3 I had one kid come up to me and he was so excited to show me all the pictures on his phone, and he looked so much healthier and was so much happier,” she said. “He used that opportunity to make a change for the better. Without funding from local organizations that wouldn’t be a possibility, and it’s so sorely needed.”
Debbie Markve, who represented the Twin City Clothing Center or the “Free Store,” said the money will be used to help pay the Center’s operating expenses, which are up to $980 per month. Donations at the free store have been down lately, she said, and volunteers have had to start charging $1 per bag to try and make up for the loss.
Jil Jennewein of the Lead-Deadwood Ministerial Association said the donations are used to provide short term assistance. The organization often helps pay for bus fare or gas for stranded transients, or to give to other organizations that help others in need.
Boys and Girls Club of Lead-Deadwood Director Danielle Flom said the group serves a snack and dinner for about 20 to 30 students every night, and the $1,000 donation will be used to purchase a new stove for the Club. “A lot of my care and affection for these kids comes from the food I prepare for them,” she said. “I have found that our stove is on the untrustworthy side.”
Jerry Pontius, representing the Northern Hills Community Band said the funds are used to pay musicians in the group. The band includes between 40 to 60 musicians of all ages, from middle school students to as old as 93. The group performs about eight concerns throughout the Northern Hills every year.
Aloah Pahl, who represented the Rod and Gun Club said the funds will be used to support planned community outreach efforts, including possibly resurrecting the fishing derby that the group has hosted in the past. “The fishing derby used to be huge in this community and to be able to bring kids of those kids who were involved would be great,” she said. “We’re working towards that right now and this will help.”
Overall, senior center member Ada Henninger said she appreciates the volunteerism each of the groups represent. “I’m appreciative of everything that everyone does because this community wouldn’t be here without all of these volunteers,” she said.
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