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Letter: Supporting Mill Race good for community

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Donna Jean Rueff


I am writing on behalf of the 50-plus population of Bartholomew County, asking the city of Columbus and the County Council to each raise their 2015 funding to $50,000 for Mill Race Center. The baby boomers are here. Membership at Mill Race Center is increasing, as well as programs, classes, activities and wellness education.

I have been an active member of Mill Race Center since my late 50s at the suggestion of my mother, who was active in our community. After the death of my husband eight years ago, I have been supported by Mill Race Center friends and activities. This has kept me involved in the community and made me feel needed and useful.

At the center I am a participant in Silvertones, Readers Theatre, craft classes, TOPS, singles groups, healthy eating and wellness classes, etc. I volunteer at the main desk and in the community.

The center sponsors a program known as Rebound, which is held at Central Middle School. We work weekly with a group of students who need positive role models, guidance and encouragement.

Through our program we expose them to community resources and hands-on experiences. We also take the students into the community to do service. This will help them become responsible adults. The Rebound program has been in existence for 20 or more years and has proven successful in helping students improve their grades and attitudes.

The center helps older residents maintain and improve health. This, in turn, means that healthier seniors work longer and stay in their homes longer, which means they continue to pay local income and property taxes, benefiting taxpayers.

The center also helps contribute to the economic development of the community. Retirees moving to Bartholomew County bring with them significant resources to add to the local economy. Mill Race Center offers employment services. This strengthens our workforce and continues to contribute to Social Security and Medicare funds.

The older population has increased dramatically over the last several decades and will continue to do so.

Supporting Mill Race Center is an investment in the older population and in an organization actively involved in broader community goals and initiatives. The 2014 funding through the county is $8,000 or less than 1 percent of our total operating budget. Similar-size communities throughout Indiana and elsewhere are supporting large multipurpose facilities like Mill Race Center through local public dollars.

Won’t you raise the bar for our own Bartholomew County seniors?

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