Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Luncheon kicks off center revival effort


An effort to shore up support for the Haines Senior Center kicks off with a luncheon at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 15 at the center.

“Celebrating 30 Years of Senior Center Services and Preparing for 30 More” will feature a roast pork dinner prepared by chef Adam Richard. The event will include readings from local authors Deb Kennedy and Kevin Reeves.

The event was sold out this week, but other efforts, including a raffle, are planned in the coming months, said Mardell Gunn, secretary of Haines Senior Citizens Center, Inc.

Few people realize that although the Senior Center is owned by the Haines Borough, the non-profit pays the building’s utilities and manages it. The loss of two long-time renters has left a $3,000 annual shortfall in utility payments.

Also, the non-profit would like to raise money to hire a senior activities coordinator, she said. “We’re hoping to get more seniors to take ownership of the program by keeping the building open and doing fundraising.”

“(Non-profit management) has worked remarkably well. We’d like it to continue. There’s no evidence that it can’t, but we have to work to make it happen,” Gunn said.

A $15,000 grant from former state Rep. Bill Thomas paid for activities at the center for about five years, she said.

The borough has helped out by making improvements to the building, including a pellet-burning boiler that fuels its heating system.