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Car wash special at the senior center

“Come on and give us a play. Get a wash right away. Car wash talkin’ about the car wash yeah! Woo car wash” were the lyrics from the “Car Wash” song by Rose Royce bopping through my head as I observed the Pagosa Springs Leadership Camp go to wash and dry my people’s cars last Tuesday. It was a popular song when I was in middle school and I boogied to it while my friends and I washed my Dad’s 1976 Buick Estate Wagon in our driveway.

Myron Carr approached me in the snowy early spring and pitched his program to me. Youth from fourth to seventh grades applied to the six-week leadership program operated through the Archuleta County Department of Human Services (Social Services). The camp’s purpose is to instill teamwork and leadership skills through service and experiential learning.

Myron suggested that the day campers offer a car wash to the seniors for free, because it is difficult for the seniors to wash their cars and it is important for the students to learn the value of service to their fellow human beings. A car wash would also tire out this high energy group. Therefore, it would be free of charge and last three hours.

Kristin Robertson, facility coordinator at the Ross Aragon Community Center, and Jim Miller, Parks Superintendent at the Town of Pagosa Springs, agreed to donate time and water to the project. Suzy Mullen, of Axis Health Systems, donated countless hours to the program as a coleader with Myron. Ashely Sousa also volunteered to help. We, The Silver Foxes Den, agreed to feed the crew and provide the dirty vehicles.

It was tuning up to be a classic 90-degree no-cloud scorching hot day when the students arrived. They were dressed for business in swim suits and cut offs armed with a hose, sponges and buckets. Our people lined up for the wash, and came inside for coffee while they waited.

“How much should I donate?” and “Who do I give the money to?” I was asked repeatedly.

“It is free. We aren’t taking donations.” I replied.

They squinted at me with both disbelief and disapproval. “Why?,” they inquired.

“Because people need to learn that sometimes you do something for someone else and not expect anything in return. It feels good.” I explained, “And it is our job to allow these kids to help us.”

“Hmph,” was the response, “But they are working so hard and doing such a good job.”

What a beautiful world it is that allows for contagious joy with just water, sun and a sense of mischief. After the last car was earnestly washed, the sun-kissed children were fed. Fortified, they returned to the buckets and the hose. The buckets were refilled while the kids eyed each other, planning their strategy. I could almost hear the flute music from Clint Eastwood’s movie “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.” Wild, wet mayhem ensued as the water fight and squeals were on. My people and I laughed out loud as we watched them. One gentleman exclaimed, “That looks like fun. We should do a car wash.”

Thank you Pagosa Leadership Program for enthusiastically washing our cars and reminding us of childhood summer fun. Participants included: Kaleb Kirsop, Kyle Kirsop, Jacob Carter, Jacob Jolley, Tessa Murray, Savvy Murray, Garrett Wade, Cheyenne Martinez and Alec Fulbright.

Fresh from the kitchen

Dolores Sauce is now our new kitchen supervisor. She graciously accepted the position after doing a fabulous job this past month as supervisor. Dolores has been working here as the assistant cook for the past 2 1/2 years and I will write more about her in a later column. August is the first month that she planned the monthly menu. All recipes and menus are governed by the State Unit on Aging.

We welcome Alinea Zimmerman to our kitchen. She joined us just this week as our assistant cook. The staff was so happy to have her here they were dancing on the serving line. Alinea has professional kitchen experience and has attended culinary school.

When she isn’t working to delight us here, she enjoys hiking, camping, painting and reading. Sporting a zen demeanor, with pigtails, she confided that working in the kitchen reminds her of hosting Thanksgiving at her house. Stop by and introduce yourself. We love her already.

Medicare counselors needed

Do you enjoy helping others? The SHIP program (Senior Health Insurance Program) and SMP (Medicare Fraud Program), available through the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, is looking for additional talented volunteers to join the Medicare Navigators Team. These programs educate, counsel and assist Colorado’s Medicare beneficiaries. We need people who have a desire to help others in the community, who have computer skills and are Internet-savvy.

The Colorado Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program is part of a national network of programs that offer free, confidential counseling and assistance for people with Medicare. Congress established SHIP in 1990 to help beneficiaries navigate an increasingly complex health care system. It’s also home to the SMP Medicare Fraud Program.

Each year, the Colorado SHIP/SMP provides invaluable services to people with Medicare, including: Counseling beneficiaries through the annual prescription drug plan enrollment period, connecting with beneficiaries who have limited incomes to help them save money on health care costs, and educating the community about health insurance issues.

A three-day training is provided and is coming up soon, Aug. 10-12. Contact Musetta Wollenweber at 264-2167 for further details about this great opportunity. Insurance agents, insurance brokers and financial planners are not eligible to serve as Medicare Navigator team members.

Desperate for help

We need Home Delivery volunteers, to deliver hot meals once a week. We need a Friday person and a Monday person. It takes about an hour. Please call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167.

Weekly activities

Friday, July 30 — Geezers 9 a.m.; chess 10 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m. Picnic In the Park; reservations required. Call Jodi at 264-2167.

Monday, Aug. 2 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 3 — Blood pressure checks 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 4 — Writing for Generations 1 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 5 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Aug. 6 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m., with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, July 30 — Honey barbecue chicken, oven browned potatoes, spinach, pears, roll.

Monday, Aug. 2 — Ham and lima beans, broccoli, orange juice, cornbread.

Tuesday, Aug. 3 — Beef tacos, lettuce, tomato, and salsa, refried beans, mexicali corn, pears.

Wednesday, Aug. 4 — Stewed chicken with olives, greek spaghetti, spinach, karidopita cake.

Thursday, Aug. 5 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Aug. 6 — Lemon baked fish, tartar sauce, rice pilaf, green beans with mushrooms, fruit salad, whole wheat roll.