Organization marks 40th anniversary

Pendleton Senior and Family Services recently celebrated 40 years of service with punch, cookies and birthday greetings from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin and local representatives.

Tomblin recognized the organization for touching countless lives by serving nutritious meals, providing needed transportation and promoting independent living to assist West Virginia’s most “experienced citizens” in living healthy, happy lives.

Manchin said he was honored to provide support for the group through his involvement in the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging.

“Since 1973, Pendleton Senior and Family Services has provided outstanding care to its senior citizens and patients with disabilities … To all the staff and volunteers, past and present, your work has not gone unnoticed. Just like many of the patients and families, I am grateful for the selfless care provided by this organization,” Manchin said in a letter read by Mary Evelyn Neville, president of the Board of Directors to about 80 party-goers.

Executive Director Carolyn Wells stated what an honor and privilege it had been to provide 40 years of service to the elderly and disabled in Pendleton County.

“Martha Kimble said to me today, ‘This is my home away from home. If I wasn’t here I would be sitting in my recliner – I love my senior center.'”

Other dignitaries present were Robert Roswell, commissioner of the W.Va. Bureau of Senior Services; House of Delegates members Allen Evans and Isaac Sponaugle; Sen. Gregory Tucker, D-Nicholas; Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick; County Commissioner Gene McConnell; and board members Margaret Rexrode, Patti Willis, Browning Boggs, Amber Hedrick and Gene McConnell.

The Senior and Family Services also provides health assessments; exercise equipment; computers; a food pantry; economic instruction and training; material aid; free hearing screenings; case management for supportive care; an informative monthly newsletter; senior support services to support better health, independence and linkages to community resources; telephone reassurance; Alzheimer’s caregiver respite; supportive in-home services; and chores provision to those unable to handle them on their own.

“The Senior Center provides a good service for senior citizens,” said James Helmick, retired assistant tax assessor and farmer, who eats lunch there every day. “It’s pretty good food – they have a good variety with something different each day.”