A Message from Lynda Greene and Barbara Chamberlain

Greetings!

As this year is fast approaching its end, please remember all that we should be grateful for.

2018 will be a year with challenges and opportunities. One of our goals in 2018 is to raise additional revenue in order to sustain our center. We will be soliciting our members, participants and community for more support than in the past in order to meet the needs of our aging community.

Please continue to support our fundraising efforts for the rest of 2017 and 2018.

With Gratitude,

Lynda Greene, SESSC Executive Director, and Barbara Chamberlain, SESSC Board President.

A Message from Lynda Greene

Greetings.  It’s hard to believe that we’re already half way through 2017!  During the second part of this year, we will definitely be focusing on fundraising activities for the Center.  With continued budget cuts, fundraising for the Center is critical and we need YOU to support our fundraising efforts!

One of our fun-filled primary fundraisers is Rainbow Bingo, which we hold five times a year. Our goal for each event is to raise $5,000 to support the activities and expenses of the Center, so we hope to see you on Friday, July 7.  The theme for the July event is Tiki Luau. This event generally sells out so please purchase your tickets early!  The next Rainbow Bingo fundraiser will be September 8 with a Sports-Appaloosa theme.  So, please mark your calendars and plan to attend with your family and friends!

And for those of you who had the opportunity to enjoy live music at The Indigo Room, thank you so much for your support. For those of you who missed the live music on Sunday afternoons, you will have the opportunity to hear CT Thompson’s uplifting sounds of R&B on Sunday, July 9, and the one and only Josephine Howell will take you to another dimension on Sunday, August 27!  Each event is 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and we hope to see you and your friends there!

We are also preparing for the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade along with Washington Care Services. Although we will not be marching in the parade this year, we will be visible with an information table. If you would like to volunteer to man the table, please check in with Jaime Clark, our Social Worker or Kate Harkins, our Community Engagement Coordinator.

We have already selected the date of February 10, for the 2018 “Love is in the Air” Wine and Food Gala!  The Committee held its first meeting recently and plans are underway. The committee needs volunteers to help with auction items and sponsorship.  The fundraising goal for 2018 is $40,000 and we NEED YOU to help us achieve the fundraising goal.  Please check in with me to find out how you can help.

And finally, we continue our fundraising activities to raise money to maintain our amazing social worker, Jaime Clark.  As of today, we have raised $15,200 towards our goal of $35,000.  We are grateful for the support we have received but still have a distance to go.  PLEASE share with your friends and families the importance of having a social worker on site and perhaps they will help us reach our goal.

We are thankful for your support and look forward to achieving our financial goals with your assistance.  With gratitude,

Lynda Greene, SESSC Executive Director

A Message from Barbara Chamberlain

Thank you for your support through membership and attendance of SESSC activities, through financial contributions, and through contributions of volunteer time. We couldn’t do it without you.

I have enjoyed meeting many of you and getting to know a little bit about some of you. I thought I would share a little bit about me:  I am a retired mathematics teacher. Home is a condominium in Rainier Beach. I have had a life full of wonderful experiences and adventures, including 46 years with my husband Norman – going from being a small-town/country girl to living in a large city; from attending a two-room school to teaching 5 classes of 30 teenagers every day; from growing up in a family of five to sharing our home with six men just released from prison; from 28 years of teaching to a life of “retirement” where, among other things, I am a volunteer serving on the SESSC Board.

It is my hope that we can work together to increase membership at the Center and to provide services to our Rainier Valley seniors. We need your continued support to meet the needs of our wonderfully diverse community. Have a wonderful summer.  -Barbara Chamberlain, SESSC Board President

MLK Elementary Students Brighten Juneteenth

Students from Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School were the highlight of the Center’s Juneteenth activity.  They sang a few songs and played a variety of percussion instruments. Juneteenth is a word that comes from the words June and nine-teen.  June 19, 1865 is the day that the news that slaves were now freed by the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas, over two years since the proclamation’s announcement in 1863. Participants shared their stories and experiences about celebrating Juneteenth.

Southeast Seattle Senior Center Champion

Congratulations to SESSC Enhance Fitness Site Coordinator, Mark Bryant.  He participated and won in a recent power lifting tournament.  Mark enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise in living well through exercise and living healthily.  If you have thought about wanting to get back into shape for your own health, be sure to drop by the Center and schedule an appointment with him.  He can help you.

Christmas in July at the Cheap Chickadee

Are you ready for Christmas?  No?  Well we are here to help you get ready!  Stop by our “Christmas in July” sale at the Cheap Chickadee Thrift Store.  We will have all of your holiday decorations – the cute, the elegant, and the practical, all at prices even below our usual affordable rates.  Don’t miss this surprising opportunity to stock up on the best in heartwarming holiday cheer.  As always, all proceeds go to support programs that matter at the Southeast Seattle Senior Center.

The Joy of Making Arts and Crafts

It is said that there is joy in making and creating things.  Those who engage in this activity know that adage is true.  Be sure to check out the variety of arts and crafts activities scheduled this quarter (pages 6 – 10 in the July/Aug/Sept 2017 issue of Accents on Boomers and Beyond.) and plan to participate in at least one of them, if not all of them.  These activities are perfect for those who already enjoy making crafts and for those who have always wanted to “get into it” but never had the time.  Now is your chance.

Artwork at SESSC

Be sure to stop by the SESSC Social Hall to check out the latest art exhibition.  This time we are featuring local artist Annie Moorehouse.  Annie has paintings of nature that you will just love and relate to.  Annie has generously agreed to donate 10% of sales to our Center.
We will also display the work of renowned Onyx artist, Carletta Carrington Wilson.  Her piece, Letter to a Laundress, was featured in the annual Onyx show at King Street Station this year and she has agreed to bring it to our Center.  We will have a party to celebrate her vision and work. Join us on Friday, July 14, at 6:00 pm in the SESSC Social Hall.

Senior Center’s Facing 10% Cuts After United Way Diverts Funding

By Ashley Archibald.  Real Change News. May 17, 2017
One Friday in May, the five-person staff at the Southeast Seattle Senior Center (SESSC) prepared to get their cowboy on. The center, located at the busy intersection of Rainier Avenue South and South Holly Street, hosts a themed Rainbow Bingo every few months.  May 12 was Western night.  There’s a degree to which it seems to drive Lynda Greene, executive director of the center, a bit crazy: boxes stacked up with prizes, supplies and extra beverages filling every space of every office.  But she loves the event.  Read more at realchangenews.org

Making a Difference in Retirement

Contributor Shirley Miles is shown on the left in the photo below, with Southeast Seattle Senior Center (SESSC) executive director Lynda Greene at her side. For more information about SESSC activities and events, visit www.sessc.org.

The last several years of my employment were challenging. I started my career 50 years ago, working with civil rights agencies. I longed for the fulfillment I experienced when doing work that made a difference in the lives of people. As I contemplated retirement, my priority was to do things that I would enjoy and make a difference in the lives of others.

During this time, my best friend Lynda Greene became the executive director of the Southeast Seattle Senior Center (SESSC). I attended several events at the center and discovered that it was full of active, happy people.

Lynda asked me to help with a major fundraising event, which launched my SESSC volunteer service, three years before I retired. I volunteered the day of events. My experiences at the center during this time made me realize I had talents that could benefit the center and in turn I began to feel better about my purpose in life.

Nonprofits cannot afford a number of support staff; however, skilled volunteers are a great asset. With only two full-time and three part-time staff, volunteers are important to successful SESSC operations. My skills include administrative, organizational, project management, budgeting, developing procedures, operations and teamwork. These are the talents and skills I can contribute to a successful event.

While providing my volunteer services at the center, I also receive many benefits. I always have a sense of pride following an event. There is also the added benefit of keeping my mind active. Problem solving is great for keeping your brain stimulated!

I have made new friends, which is great for the soul. The center’s positive environment gave a big boost to my self-esteem. I now have a more positive outlook on life and my “golden years.”

I was concerned about getting old, but the seniors at the center are an inspiration to me. I am especially amazed at the seniors with physical challenges who are at the center every day, participating with a smiling face.

My health has also improved. I had a heart attack in 2008, basically due to job stress. During a recent visit to the cardiologist, I learned I’ve experienced significant health improvements.

I am blessed to be volunteering with seniors, as it provides me a way to continue to honor my mother. My favorite part of the day is when I take time to get a hug and chat with the elders.