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Robin Hooding for a ping-pong table

Robin Hooding is one of my favorite non profit donation acquisition strategies.

Several legends of the medieval Robin Hood tell tales of the outlaw stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. As I use this term of art, Robin Hooding is the creative reallocation of resources for the good of one’s people in a mostly honorable way. Instead of thinking, “How can the county pay for this,” I think “I am not paying for anything and who can I hustle?”

I would never appropriate anything illegally, dressing in black leather, scaling walls, cross bow on my back, night vision goggles activated. I will, however, ask my business friends for reams of paper, harvest treasure from my neighbor’s trash cans, redistribute my family’s personal property and will shamelessly beg for money on behalf of my people.

As any resident of our paradisiacal Archuleta County knows, resources are scarce. We have kept our lunch donation to an even $3 for several years. All of our activities are free of charge, the supplies are donated and our presenters are given only a lunch and a thank you.

When one of my people made the request, “Can we have a ping-pong table?” I thought “Who can I convince to give one to our Silver Foxes Den?”

I politely asked for one in this column and Tessa Michaelson obliged. The table did not fold up for storage so I passed it on to a local grateful church. I asked again, “Who is going to give us a folding ping-pong table?”

This past weekend my husband and I visited our son, Sam, in college in Fort Collins. In the relaying of his shenanigans, Sam told us about his job as a prep cook in the dining hall. He said he avails himself of a meal’s worth of food during his shift, which he eats on his breaks. This leaves Sam with extra swipes on his expensive meal card which he in turn gives to his hungry friends who can’t afford meal tickets. When we left him with an extra $20, he promptly donated it to Greenpeace. Sam Robin Hooded us.

Which gave me a great idea.

When I was in third grade, my father purchased a ping-pong table for my sister, two brothers and I and moved it to the basement in hopes of some respite from us. He patiently taught us to play and then snuck upstairs to watch football. He lives at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center now, and obliterates the staff at Wii bowling (a computer game). Dad is also a regular at the Dog Pound table in our dining room, telling lies and laughing with his friends.

“Hey, Dad,” I said sweetly, as I sidled up to him at lunch.

“What do you want,” he said back, eyes twinkling.

“Big 5 has ping-pong tables on sale and I think we should have one here. I can beat you at ping-pong again and you can pay for it,” I charmingly stated.

“Give me the details,” he replied, “but you are the one that will get beat.”

Ultimately, I Robin Hooded my Dad. The Archuleta County Senior Center ping-pong table arrives today.

I can’t wait. Stay tuned for Ping-Pong Part 2.

The first inch of snow

Just for fun, we are having a “Predict the First Inch of Snow” contest. Stop by or call in (264-2167) with your name, phone number and the date of the first official inch of snow fall at the Senior Center. In the case of a tie, the winner will be the first person who called in.

What is the prize?

A free lunch with us, of course.

Thank you

Thank you, Chuck Kofoid, for the glorious Ping-pong Table.

Really desperate

We need someone to deliver meals on Mondays. It takes about an hour, and you can have a free lunch with us when you are finished. Call me, Jodi, at 264-2167.

Scam alert

This is the time of year to get your furnace cleaned and ready for winter. While most contractors are reputable, the furnace “scam artists” are on the move at this time of year. Unfortunately, unsuspecting homeowners become victims of their fraudulent and unscrupulous activities. These situations can be avoided by knowing how to recognize questionable and potentially fraudulent contractors.

Do maintain and prolong your furnace by cleaning air returns with a household vacuum cleaner and checking the filter once a month, replacing it if necessary.

Do get your heating system thoroughly cleaned by a reputable, licensed, local mechanical contractor every two years.

Do get at least three independent written estimates from licensed local mechanical contractors if a furnace repair or replacement is recommended. If you subsequently sign a contract for work, make sure it stipulates that your final payment will be withheld pending mandatory inspection by the building department responsible for mechanical code enforcement where you live.

Don’t fall for telephone solicitations that offer “low-cost” or “free” furnace cleaning. Once in the dwelling, the worker will tell the homeowners their heating system has serious problems that require immediate attention.

Don’t sign a contract just because the worker says you face possible illness or death if the furnace isn’t replaced immediately. If told your furnace threatens your health, ask for a written copy of the technician’s test results and call your local gas company.

Don’t ever let someone in your house who came to your door uninvited.

Flu shot clinics

Flu shot clinics by the San Juan Basin Health Department are scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Senior Center lounge, and on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to noon in Arboles, in the basement of the Catholic Church. Questions? Call Jodi at 264-2167.


With the closing of the downtown City Market, we remind you that we have a Senior Bus that runs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please call me, Jodi, at 264-2167 for details.

Medicare counselors

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.

Please call Musetta Wollenweber at 264-2167 if you are interested in assisting us in providing this necessary service.


Are you homebound or know someone who is? Let the Silver Foxes Den help you with your meals. We have expanded our service to the more rurally isolated areas of the county and would like to help you help yourself.

These meals are the same meals prepared in our kitchen by the same cooks who prepare those scrumptious senior center meals. Our hot meal home-delivery program remains available to those closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals on Thursdays. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give me or Musetta a call at 264-2167 for further information.

Weekly activities

Friday, Oct. 15 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 18 — Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Scrabble 1 p.m.; Halloween Readers Digesting with Tessa Michaelson 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 19 — Yoga 10 a.m.; flu shot clinic 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; Marty Borges, storyteller 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 20 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; “Cold Cases and Unsolved Mysteries” presentation by Det. George Barter

Thursday, Oct. 21 — No lunch, administrative day

Friday, Oct. 22 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; book club 10:30 a.m.; Tai Chi 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 12:30 p.m.; ASI board meeting 1 p.m.


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, Oct. 15 — French dip with au jus, oven browned potatoes, mixed veggies, coleslaw, strawberry applesauce.

Monday, Oct. 18 — Spaghetti with meatballs, salad, green beans, mandarin oranges, breadstick.

Tuesday, Oct. 19 — White chili with chicken, whole wheat crackers, broccoli, apple slices, breadstick.

Wednesday, Oct. 20 — Barbecue pork ribs, seasoned spinach, corn on the cob, foccacia bread, pineapple chunks.

Thursday, Oct. 21 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Oct. 22 — Fish Creole, cheesy potatoes, squash and onions, peaches, roll.