News & Updates from Montpelier Senior Activity Center, Parks & Recreation, with occasional items from City Hall

To subscribe to MSAC’s weekly e-letter and receive regular updates, events and resources, email msac@montpelier-vt.org. To read the most recent and past issues, click here

To read the City’s weekly reports and resources, find the link here.

"Keep safe" spelled out in Scrabble tiles, an image by clarissa-watson-2dHL__IyDWQ-unsplashOn January 3rd, 2022, staff made the decision to PAUSE ALL IN-PERSON GROUP ACTIVITIES (including groups, classes  and public meetings) until the week of January 17, when we hope post-holiday COVID-19 cases have been identified and safety risks may be lower.

All staff and group leaders are subject to the City's updated vaccine/testing guidelines, everyone inside the facility is required to wear masks, and no one who has recently been a close contact of a positive case or has symptoms should enter the facility.  We encourage everyone to get vaccinated and boostered and to wear N-95, K-95, surgical, and/or double-masks whenever possible. 

Winter Classes: Registration continues; resolve to engage in healthy aging and lifelong learning in 2022! 

Tai Chi imageMSAC has three dozen weekly classes in store for area adults (and teens!) this winter, online, in-person and hybrid. Some classes still have rather low enrollment, and in a few cases, may be cancelled if more sign-ups don't occur soon! Tell your friends that our classes are a great way to start a new year!

As of January 4, lots of space remains in: Writing on Tuesdays with Maggie, Chinese Calligraphy with Ellie, White Tiger Qigong with Ellie, Financial Workshop with Edward Jones, Advanced Beginner Guitar with Tom, Movement for Parkinson's with Mary Chris, Chair Yoga with Ragan, Yoga for Osteo with Ragan, Food as Medicine with Lisa, Somatic Movement with Amy, Moving into Stillness with Sarah and Tai Chi for Fall Prevention with Ellie. 

Materials and the link to register online are available on the IMPROVED Classes page here. Most Classes start the week of January 10, but in-person classes (and other activities) have been delayed until the week of January 17. You can also stop by MSAC or call us at 223-2518 to learn more or get help to register!   

AARP Tax-Aide Clinic Appointment Sign-ups Start Jan. 14 

On Friday, January 14, MSAC staff will begin scheduling appointments which will start in February and continue through mid-April, as long as COVID guidelines allow. Our schedule and protocols are still in the works. Appointment slots are reserved by calling 223-2518. Many of you know exactly what you’ll need, but we will mail or email you handouts with this information, along with the required Intake and Interview Forms which you can fill out ahead of time insofar as possible. 

Tax clinic image from Jan newsletter 2022Volunteering for AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Clinics!

By Georgia Valentine, Tax-Aide Volunteer | Many of you already know about AARP Foundation Tax-Aide’s free income tax preparation service at MSAC—one of the nation-wide network of sites jointly sponsored and supported by the IRS and the AARP Foundation. Trained and certified volunteers provide this service to anyone who needs it and whose income sources are within the scope of our training. We aren’t trained for small businesses or income from rental properties or other complex sources, and we don’t provide financial or tax advice, but we can handle most ‘ordinary’ federal and state returns, and claims for refunds. 

We use secure password-protected, IRS-provided computers and software, and work in teams to ensure quality service. We are diligent about client privacy, data security, and respectful treatment for all.  And we welcome new volunteers to join us! 

In addition to the actual return preparation, for which comprehensive on-line training is provided, certified volunteers may serve as Client Facilitators or ‘Greeters’ to assist with scheduling, initial interviewing and site management, and also administrative or technical support roles. 

Our season runs from December Training through the mid-April Tax Return Deadline. To learn more, check out the AARP tax-aide website: https://www.aarp.org/volunteer/programs/tax-aide/  or call the Senior Center, and one of our tax volunteers will get in touch with you. 

Our new drinking water fountains are green, up and running!

After years of planning and months of step by step contractor and staff processes, we are thrilled to share that we now have two modern, ADA accessible drinking water fountains for use by the public. One is near the 1st floor MSAC library in the lobby, and the other is near the elevator on the 2nd floor. You can step up with your water bottle and hold it underneath, saving countless disposable cups and dishwasher runs in MSAC's future. Thanks to the State of VT Building & General Services Facility Grant program for covering part of the cost!

You're invited: January Public Hearings & Public Survey on FY23 City Budget

MSAC is a division of the City of Montpelier, and the City's Management Team (including MSAC's Director) and City Council are engaged in the annual budget process to be considered at Town Meeting in March, with an official start of the FY23 year on July 1, 2022. To share your input, there are meetings scheduled on Wednesday, January 12, and Thursday, January 20 (6:30pm starts) for discussion and adoption of the budget, audit of last year's budget, warning, bonds, petitions and related items. You can read the agendas at this site.  Another way to participate in sharing your input is by responding to the City's Public Budget Survey by clicking here and available for the coming weeks. 

Recreation Updates 

Rec staff and others continue to work diligently to get the skating rink ready. Youth basketball and Open Gym basketball continue. Mon/Thursday Tai Kwan Do started up again this week in the Gym. Summer Camp and Pool employment recruitment efforts will start up soon. Word on the street is that we'll also be hosting a chocolate egg hunt this Spring for the first time since COVID started. Stay tuned!

Park Update: Hubbard Park Expansion Fundraising Continues

Montpelier has successfully added nearly 80 acres to the Central VT treasure, and fundraising proceeds for post-purchase aspects of bringing the new parcels into Park management (including trail work, kiosks and benches)! Information and the link to donate online is here, and thanks to ALL of you who have already contributed.  We hope you're getting out and enjoying the Park on these short days!  

Kassia Bio PhotoProfile of Park Commissioner, Kassia Randzio

The beauty and sovereignty of nature have always been central to Kassia Radzio’s sense of self, and to her calling to serve..... Read the rest of Kassia's profile by Neville Berle that was published in MSAC's January newsletter on page 3 here


More FEAST news and updates are here

Check out our re-designed main FEAST webpage here


 






Older Announcements from MSAC & the City

Westview giftsThank you, Community!

We are so grateful to all community members who donated small gift items, and helped wrap and deliver holiday gifts to FEAST Meals on Wheels recipients. Special thanks to Westview Meadows staff and residents, Splash Naturals, Caledonia Spirits and Hunger Mountain Co-op for going the extra mile to make the packages special! Plus, the SPUDS volunteers from the Unitarian Church came and painted the FEAST office, and we’ve had so many returning and new volunteers in the kitchen and delivering FEAST meals. Thank you!

Recreation Center Project News

City staff presented multiple options to City Council regarding the future of the Recreation Center on November 17th, 2021. Council agreed that the Recreation Center as it currently exists at 55 Barre Street is not fully ADA accessible, is a space that is under-utilized and difficult to renovate, and has no room for expansion. The two options that Council has asked staff to further build out for consideration are constructing a brand new facility, either at the City’s Elm Street recreation fields, or at the former Elks Lodge location, in partnership with the not-for-profit The HUB.  We published the full city announcement about this on page 3 of our December 2021 newsletter. Read it here.  

FCVCOA award receipt 11-15-21EAST Senior Meals receives Community Strength Award from CVCOA

FEAST received a Community Strength Award from the Central Vermont Council on Aging for efforts to keep older     Vermonters safe and cared for during the pandemic. We are grateful for the award and even more grateful for the opportunity to work with CVCOA to provide meals for our community. Pictured in photo: Kim Myers, Sarah Lipton, and volunteer driver Noah Sexton.

We have brand new yoga mats for sale and they make great gifts!

Is it time for a new mat for your home practice, remote classes, or are you just getting started with yoga for the first time? Is there someone on your holiday gift-giving list who's a good candidate?  Our mats are in beautiful colors and we suggest a minimum donation of $10 but will accept more. Need a mat for your MSAC zoom classes and can't afford it? Talk with Norma in the office and she will work something out that fits in your budget. 

MSAC Welcomes new FEAST Kitchen Manager/Chef 

After months of planning and a strong slate of candidates stepped forward, MSAC is thrilled to announce that Ms. Shalonda James will be stepping in to run the FEAST Kitchen as of November 10th. Please look for the full announcement on our FEAST News page!

MSBridge ad, MSAC at Home for 11-3-21 issue, 4.94 in. (2 col) x 4 in. v1 Opens in new windowAC coverage in The Montpelier Bridge

In case you missed it, the Bridge published on November 3 had a "Senior Living" theme with lots of great stories and news about older adults and opportunities in Central VT, and our team was able to get a couple articles included. You can read them here: "Thriving While Aging at Home," and "Activities Abound at Montpelier Senior Activity Center."


Map for Info Sheet 9-29-21

Thank you, Roam and Three Penny Taproom, and our generous community supporting the Hubbard Park Expansion Project!

Thank you to the owners and staff of Roam VT and Three Penny Taproom, and all the customers and generous community members who helped raise a lot of extra money for the Hubbard Park Expansion Fund on November 19 and November 23! Including the 5% donated by each business for a day, plus raffle ticket sales at Roam doubled, along with the anonymous donor who donated the amount of bills and tips at TPT, the two events brought in over $9600 to the campaign! Thank you, community!

 Barbara on shipLink fixed: Member Barbara Garton shares report of Danube River Cruise, August 2021
This trip was planned by MSAC staff, members and photographer Annie Tiberio in 2019 and originally scheduled for August 2020. After a year-long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trip finally took place --albeit with many changes. Thanks to MSAC member Barbara Garton for sharing her account and photos, which, along with the flyer for the originally planned "Budapest to Bucharest" cruise with Annie, are available on our Trips webpage. (Broken link fixed 11/7, and we apologize for our glitch on 10/31!)

MSAC At HMSAC At Home Judy Greenwald 2ome Can Help!

As fall and winter come upon us, we are pleased to announce that we are accepting MSAC At Home requests! These requests can include resident-based outdoor or indoor chore assistance, opportunities for socialization, or technology assistance. In this short fall season, we have already provided assistance with several indoor and outdoor chores. The fall and winter seasons make for a long chore list. If you or someone you know needs a hand, contact us (below)!

Volunteer with MSAC At Home!

We’re recruiting volunteers for MSAC at Home. As a volunteer, you determine how much or little you can help and with what elements of the program. We now have three service elements: socialization and connection, indoor assistance, and outdoor assistance. Montpelier is a vibrant community, and volunteering with MSAC At Home offers the opportunity to meet incredible people while providing support for vital services. Volunteer service is powerful—for the volunteers, the MSAC At Home clients, and the greater Montpelier community. We at MSAC are so honored to have a robust volunteer network, and are excited to expand it! 

How to connect with MSAC at Home and Maddie

If you are interested in learning more or want to make a request for any of the above, contact MSAC’s Aging in Place Coordinator Maddie Sholar at 802-262-6287 or email msac-americorps@montpelier-vt.org. You can also find info on our website. We have also scheduled Volunteer Training Events, Dec. 9 & 10, with more details to come! 

Farm kids

Parks Volunteers Needed! 

Want to learn about opportunities for helping at the Farm, doing trail work in the parks and more ? We are looking for people of all ages, abilities and skill levels. Please email Jacqueline Huettenmoser at jhuettenmoser@montpelier-vt.org if you're interested in getting involved.  

MSAC Advisory Council has vacancies; committees welcome new members at large to join

The Advisory Council and its subcommittees welcome new members to get involved. There are currently two vacancies on the Council and many subcommittees. The next meeting of the Council is Tuesday, October 12. To learn more, visit https://www.montpelier-vt.org/369/MSAC-Advisory-Council. 

Town Funding 

We are underway with our efforts to seek Town Funding from our six supporting towns of Berlin, Calais, E. Montpelier, Middlesex, Moretown and Worcester. If you’d like to help with these efforts, please contact Janna at 262-6284 or jclar@montpelier-vt.org. To learn more, visit https://www.montpelier-vt.org/1142/MSAC-and-surrounding-communities

Thank you, Good Taste Catering 

We are grateful for our FEAST Seniors Meals Program partnership with Good Taste Catering that began way back in 2013 and continues until the end of our final contract on September 30, 2021.  Justin, Mike, other staff and volunteers they supervised produced over 100,000 nutritious meals for local seniors, took great care of our kitchen facility, trained countless people in food service, and brought smiles to many!

As both MSAC/FEAST and Good Taste Catering evolve in 2021, we wish Good Taste all the best with their new ventures at VT College of Fine Arts kitchen and in   helping address food security in the years to come!

Transition in our Americorps member: Welcome, Maddie Sholar!  

Please join us in welcoming Madeline ("Maddie") Sholar as the next VHCB Americorps, Aging in Place Coordinator for MSAC! Maddie started her year of service on September 8, and Andrew Gribbin, last year's member, generously volunteered several extra weeks of time beyond his call of duty to support MSAC before Maddie's start and also helped with her early orientation to MSAC on Monday, September 13. The team is thrilled to welcome her on board, she's already hit the ground running, and we’ll share more about Maddie in the October Active Times

Andrew Gribbin: Reflections on a year of service to MSAC

Andrew July 2021 photoJanna recently sat down to chat with Andrew in advance of his end of service. Readers may be surprised to learn that our recent Aging in Place Americorps member is originally from Montpelier and graduated from MHS over a decade ago. He studied anthropology in college and spent time in South Africa, deeply inspired by Nelson Mandela’s persistence in demanding justice and equality – “a beacon of human goodness.” Andrew’s inspiration to apply for Americorps in August 2020 was his desire to give back to the community in which he was raised and to interact with the older adult population with whom he’d previously had limited experience.

Andrew fondly remembers his direct interactions with members--how engaging, appreciative and kind they’ve been. On one occasion after performing a home-based chore to  assist a member, he was unexpectedly gifted with delicious “good boy brownies!” Andrew found it fulfilling to be able to build relationships with some MSAC members over the course of the year, and he hopes they understand that he got as much out of the interactions as he gave! 

We are so grateful for Andrew’s service and his camaraderie!  Please join us in wishing him all the best as he starts his next adventure working to support Aging in Place!  To read the full profile of Andrew in our September newsletter, click here and look for page 6. 

Trash Tramps: Strength in Numbers & Spiffy in Vests!

Trash Tramps returning to MSAC 9-14-21 NS or AF pictureAnne Ferguson reports: "Here is part of our group… 9 out of 14…. after our return on Tuesday, September 14, displaying some of our collection from the hour we were out and about. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful Tramps caring for our city and planet." As the Tramps lined up prior to heading out that day, MSAC staff admired what some were wearing: beautiful new safety vests purchased with a Trash Tramps supplies grant from Central VT Solid Waste Management District. Thank you, CVSWMD and Trash Tramps!    Trash Tramps go out together each Tuesday,  2pm, and meet in MSAC Courtyard at 58 Barre St. around 1:45pm. (Email saddleshoes2@gmail.com to get on the notification list that goes out Monday nights.) 

Volunteer with MSAC at Home!

MSAC needs your help to continue providing valuable services to those in our community! MSAC at Home continues to offer indoor tasks assistance (such as changing lightbulbs and smoke alarm batteries, installing and removing AC units), outdoor chore assistance (such as light garden and yard work, wood stacking, raking), and basic technology assistance to those who need it. Being able to maintain and eventually expand these offerings depends on the buy-in of community members, including MSAC members, who can provide these needed services to older adults in our area. As an MSAC at Home volunteer, you determine how much or little you can help and with what elements of the program. More information can be found on our website, https://www.montpelier-vt.org/msac-at-home, or by contacting MSAC’s new Aging in Place Coordinator, Maddie Sholar, at msac-americorps@montpelier-vt.org or 802-262-6287.  

MSAC at Home’s Tech Device Lending Library is in the works!

We’ve ordered twenty devices that are expected to   arrive in about a month, and we are lining up a training partnership with Technology for Tomorrow.  Central VT Council on Aging is a key partner in this initiative, and both they and we are going through staff transitions that have affected the timeline of this exciting new   offering.  We anticipate being able to offer devices,  internet and training to  members starting in late Fall or early Winter.  Stay tuned for more details! 

Indoor and Outdoor Space Rentals available with Senior Center, FEAST Kitchen, Parks and Recreation

Trying to resume pandemic-paused group meet-up or schedule a one-time special event or meeting? We have affordable indoor and outdoor spaces in many shapes and locations, some with audio-visual available. We also rent out our fully licensed commercial kitchen when not in use for FEAST senior meals production.  To learn more or request space at Community Services Department facilities, visit https://www.montpelier-vt.org/337/Facility-Rentals or call 225-8699. Masking required indoors in all city facilities by all people at this time, regardless of vaccine status.   

FEAST Farm Tour Report in June: A Resounding Success!

Click here for full report


MSAC to Hire Kitchen Manager / Chef for FEAST Senior Meals Program

We are excited to announce some changes coming to the FEAST program! After eight years of partnership with local business Good Taste Catering and nine months of off-site meal production that involved the City paying the outside vendor for food and labor necessary to produce Montpelier’s Meals on Wheels, Curbside pickup and congregate meals, MSAC intends to hire a Kitchen Manager/Chef (30 hours per week) to start in late September and be prepared for the return of meal production at MSAC’s commercial kitchen at 58 Barre Street October 1. This change is anticipated to bring cost-savings over recent increases, expanded collaboration and social justice benefits, and many other advantages for the community.  To learn more, please refer to a summary memo, full proposal backing the plan, and job description for the new position being created. 

Sarah Lipton, FEAST Program Manager since August 2020 and new Director of MSAC effective August 31, 2021, led the re-design effort and wrote the proposal. This re-design of the City’s FEAST Senior Meals Program has been reviewed by and has the support of the City Manager, the Assistant City Manager, the Finance Director, the outgoing MSAC Director, and the MSAC Advisory Council.  We are excited to implement this next phase of an essential nutrition and socialization service for our city’s older adults. Questions may be directed to Sarah Lipton at slipton@montpelier-vt.org or by calling 262-6288.

Recruitment for Savoy DVD volunteers

We’d love to recruit a few more people to get trained in facilitating DVD borrowing from the Savoy DVD Archive collection at MSAC. To learn more, stop by during Joyce’s shift on a Tuesday or Friday, 11am-1pm, or ask staff to put you in touch. 

Wi-fi is back at MSAC!

We have new, improved, more reliable Wi-fi in our facility at MSAC, and it works upstairs in our classrooms, too! When you visit our facility, look for notices hanging on bulletin boards, etc. to find the new network name and password. Ask staff if you need assistance finding it or logging in the first time!

Additional Foot Care Clinics scheduled at MSAC

These clinics occur on select Mondays and Thursdays at 58 Barre Street and require advance registration. We are grateful to partner Central VT Home Health & Hospice for staffing these high-demand services. To learn more and sign up, contact Harry or Norma at the MSAC office at 223-2518. 

New MSAC Director Announced!

Sarah image for e-letterAfter receiving eight qualified applications, the hiring committee had narrowed down the selection and interviewed two finalists. Both finalists went through panel interviews with the MSAC Advisory Council and the City’s Leadership Team. We are happy to announce that last week, the job was offered to and accepted by Sarah Lipton, who is currently our FEAST Program Manager. Sarah will be transitioning into her new role within the coming weeks, and we will share more information later this month. Please join us in congratulating Sarah! (Photo credit: Homer Horowitz)

Trip Report by Tina Muncy, Volunteer Trip Leader, and MSAC Staff, 8/12/21

Click here to read an update about our leased van, why we’re doing fewer trips this year and how we’re responding to this month’s COVID developments in VT. 

MSAC at Home: First Year Recap 

Over this past year, a gradual but steady roll-out of new services has been underway at Montpelier Senior Activity Center, part of a program we are calling “MSAC at Home.” Based on the national “Village Model,” this program aims to provide services that empower older adults to successfully age in place. Beginning with outdoor, home-based seasonal chores in the fall, adding check-in Wellness Calls and technology support in the winter, expanding to indoor task assistance in the spring, and adding home evaluations to address falls risk in the summer, these offerings represent the start of what we hope are valuable new offerings to the community. As the AmeriCorps term for Aging in Place Coordinator Andrew Gribbin comes to a close next week, let’s recap what the start of this exciting new program has accomplished. To date, 30 separate request for home-based assistance (both indoor and outdoor) have been responded to, resulting in 40 total tasks being completed. Over 60 separate technology requests have been responded to, and twice monthly Zoom trainings have been offered since December. A quarter of MSAC’s 2020 membership has been contacted for check-in Wellness Calls, resulting in over 50 follow-up actions being taken and over a dozen referrals to more regular contact through the Central Vermont Council on Aging’s Friendly Caller program. All services have been offered by donation to MSAC, ensuring access to all regardless of ability to pay. While much has been done, there is much more to do, and we hope this inaugural year represents the first chapter of many for MSAC at Home. To learn more about MSAC at Home or to become involved in this program, please visit our website at https://www.montpelier-vt.org/msac-at-home or contact msac-americorps@montpelier-vt.org or 262-6287 (both of which will be monitored during the transition to our new AmeriCorps member, though we appreciate your understanding of any temporary slowdown in responsiveness). 

Volunteer With the Green Mountain Transit Community Rides Program – a Testimonial from AmeriCorps member Andrew Gribbin

Part of my AmeriCorps service involves completing an Independent Service Project (ISP) by volunteering with another organization. After hearing about the Green Mountain Transit (GMT) Community Rides Program, I felt confident the program would align nicely with my service at MSAC of promoting independence and resources for older adults while also helping to fill a vital need in central Vermont. That’s because the GMT Community Rides Program provides transportation to individuals who do not have access to public transportation or a vehicle, many of whom are older adults or individuals with disabilities. In my time with the program, I have given a number of rides to the hospital, rides to addiction prevention treatment, and rides to physical therapy and post-operative surgery appointments at doctor offices. We all know how critical transportation is to retaining our independence, and the GMT Community Rides Program plays an essential role in maintaining this independence for many in our community. As the volunteer, I determine how much time I can give in a given week, and the GMT staff work with me to make the experience one that works for everyone involved. If you have even a few hours to spare a month, consider signing up to volunteer with this program. As an added bonus, GMT will reimburses you for your mileage. To learn more about this important program, visit https://ridegmt.com/become-a-volunteer-driver/ or contact Donna Gallagher at 802-262-6182 or dgallagher@ridegmt.com. You – and many in our community – will be glad you did!

Got grRec ad Afterschool childcare  Opens in new windowandkids or know some area kids? Capital Kids Afterschool Childcare Program Registration is underway – service starts August 26!

 To learn more about our affordable, state-licensed program with subsidies and available 2:30-5:30pm throughout the school year, visit https://www.montpelier-vt.org/1186/After-School-Childcare, call the office at 802-225-8699  or email nmaurice@montpelier-vt.org with questions. 

Elders Together Report by Mary Alice Bisbee 

Older Elders gathered on Tuesday, July 13th from 1:00-2:30 PM at MSAC to share thoughts and ideas and to learn some ways for our aging brains to catch up on technological advances that, seemingly, have left some of us behind!  Seven of us were honored to hear from Luke Rackers, Technology Specialist at the Central VT Council on Aging (CVCOA).  He answered many of the questions we brought to him and told of CVCOA’s plans to find community volunteers that can work one on one with elders with specific needs.  He will get back to us individually. 

We also learned about our MSAC Americorps volunteer, Andrew Gribbin’s presentations on how to use ZOOM and new collaborations with a free program for elders, called Technology for Tomorrow that is taught on ZOOM.  (I attended a class on Introduction to Search Engines and plan to attend another one on July 28th called Basic Introduction to Digital Media Literacy.)  More information on these classes is available on page 7 of the MSAC newsletter for July, Active Times if you care to join.

Our group is open to all older elders who like to socialize, drop in from time to time, discuss issues of concern to our oldest generation and learn ways to help each other.  All Central Vermont elders are invited.  You do not need to be a member of MSAC to attend and it is FREE! For more information contact Mary Alice Bisbee at 223-8140.

Advisory Council Recognitions and Welcomes

Thank you to outgoing Advisory Council (AC) members--Bob Barrett, Mary Alice Bisbee and Bill Doelger–all recognized for their unique contributions at the Annual Meeting on June 22. Welcome to newly elected AC members Mariah Lane, Jean Olson and Rick Winston, who started their two-year terms on June 22. Welcome back to Dianne Maccario and Laura Morse, both of whom were elected for a second term. Finally, on June 22, the AC also recognized two volunteers who really went “Above and Beyond” this past year with MSAC service: Mary Carlson and Laura Morse. 

MSAC Thanks Web  Industries for support of Remembering Our Veterans Event May 28!

Musicians at ROV 5-28-21

Huge thanks to local business, Web Industries (formerly known as Cadcut), for their sponsorship of our annual event in advance of Memorial Day, back from a 2020 pandemic pause!  Not only did Web Industries give MSAC a grant to generously cover all expenses for the luncheon for eighty Veterans, their families, and other older adults who attended, they also provided five employees to serve the luncheon curbside from our facility!

In addition to the delicious BBQ meal, attendees enjoyed fanfare of flags and gratitude, plus not one but TWO live bands as they drove around the senior center to pick up their curbside meals.  Out front on Barre Street, the MSAC “Swingin’ Over Sixty” band played in the courtyard. On the side near meal pick-up, guests enjoyed traditional music on banjo, guitar and fiddle, played by local musicians Kathleen Moore, Chris Hollis and Alec Ellsworth, pictured in photo here (missing: Jenny Monfore).  If Alec’s name is familiar, it’s because he’s also our Parks & Trees Director and City of Montpelier co-worker of MSAC staff! Finally, huge thanks to FEAST Manager Sarah Lipton, Americorps member Andrew Gribbin, volunteer Carole Baker, and countless others who pulled together this special event.

We are Grateful to VT Community Foundation, Hoehl Family Foundation, National Life Group Charitable Foundation & Central Vermont Council on Aging!

All of the above organizations recently awarded MSAC generous grants to support either MSAC’s general operating expenses or our FEAST Senior Nutrition Program. Thank you, community!  We are also grateful to individual donors and small businesses!

  • $5,000 from the VT COVID-19 Response Fund of the VT Community Foundation (FEAST)
  • $5,000 from COVID-19 Relief Funds from Central Vermont Council on Aging (FEAST)
  • $15,000 from National Life Group Charitable Foundation (GOE)
  • $60,000 from Hoehl Family Foundation, paid in $20,000 installments annually for three years (GOE)

Farewell and Thank you to Becca Jordan!
IMG_19531Becca Jordan, Communications & Development Coordinator for Community Services (Senior Center, Parks, and Recreation) has left city employment just shy of her third anniversary with us. She will soon start an exciting new job at The Center for an Agricultural Economy, based in Hardwick-- a position related to her current one and in a field closely aligned to her educational background and passions. Becca’s three years of excellent service to Community Services included weathering a pandemic and strengthening MSAC’s outreach and fundraising strategies, among many other contributions she made to the City. In her wake, Becca is leaving some significant recent grant awards for both MSAC and Parks, and she wrote a large grant application for Recreation in her final days! Thanks, Becca; we wish you all the best! Readers, stay tuned for news of our plans to fill this vacancy as soon as is reasonably possible!

Anonymous gift to fund MSAC technology upgrades and device-lending library
We are thrilled to announce that due to the tremendous generosity of an anonymous donor this spring, we are in the process of planning significant technology upgrades to improve the experience, access, and equity of senior center services. Though details are still being worked out, the two main areas the donor’s funding will support are (1) establishing a lending library of technology devices (and training) for members and (2) purchasing, upgrading and installing audio-visual and related equipment in MSAC classrooms to enhance both on-site and remote programs. We look forward to sharing updates as we make progress!