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Stephanie Jones began her new position the last week of January, as the organization has made a new transition the past year and are gearing up for the Senior Center to reopen

RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Left, Melody Kendall, previous Senior Center Coordinator and current part-time bookkeeper for the Center Foundation Charitable Trust, and Stephanie Jones, Coordinator for the Prineville Senior Center.The Prineville Senior Center recently hired a new coordinator and President of the Center Foundation, Karen Rabenberg, commented that they are ecstatic that their new hire applied for the position.

"I think she is going to be a good fit, and we are very fortunate that we found her," she said.

Stephanie Jones is the new Senior Center Coordinator and began her new position the last week of January. She is part of the Prineville Senior Center Charitable Trust, which also includes the Neat Repeat.

Jones commented that she finds the most enjoyment when she is helping others.

"I have a lot of compassion for those who need a little extra support and encouragement, and just to be there and to lend a listening ear if somebody is having a bad day," said Jones of the new position.

She has worked with nonprofits in the past, and Jones also noted that she worked with an incredible board of directors in her prior position.

"That kind of interested me to work with a board again and to be a face of an organization and to be able to get the word out about what we do and who we are—and just moving us forward in a techier kind of a world," Jones said .

She hopes to keep the momentum going and to offer new ideas — with the board's approval. She is currently looking at ways to upgrade the current webpage for the Senior Center.

Rabenberg added that they are still in the first year of the change from the Soroptimist club to the Center Foundation and getting everything turned around and headed in a better direction. They recently mounted the new logo for the Center Foundation on the building that was designed by Crook County High School senior Sara Daniels.

"We have a very successful partnership with the graphics department at the high school. We had a contest, and they created the logo for us," she concluded.

Jones said that as she is more grounded in the position, she hopes they can add more activities — when they reopen. She has researched other senior centers, and some of their activities.

"I would like to see all of the activities again and bring in some new things."

Jones' position includes coordinating the meal program, including the home delivery meals. She also works with the Counsel on Aging, with the funding aspect of the home delivery meals. She will decorate the senior center to make it a welcoming atmosphere and plan activities for holidays and special parties. Jones will also answer phone calls throughout the day and coordinate volunteers as needed.

Currently, the Prineville Senior Center is hoping to reopen in February, depending on current COVID numbers, restrictions and guidelines.

When asked about starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic, Jones smiled and offered some of her abundant sense of humor. "These are unprecedented times and times that we never thought would happen."

She moved from Pendleton, Oregon, where she worked in behavioral health before moving back to Prineville.

"I am at a different time in my life, and this opportunity came open, and I thought, "I am going to try for it. They liked me, so here we are," Jones said.

The current hours at the Prineville Senior Center are Monday through Friday are 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when they officially open. Jones will have a lunch time between 1 and 2 p.m.

The Prineville Senior Center is for ages 60 and over, and activities that are held must also be for only 60 and over. Volunteers, however, can be under the age of 60.

Melody Kendall, previous Senior Center Coordinator, will be part-time bookkeeper for the Center Foundation Charitable Trust. She does payroll, taxes, pay bills and writes grants.

Due to the structure of the grant that was received for the senior center remodel, there are some limitations on activities that attendees should be aware of. Seniors cannot bring their grandkids to lunch or have them attend activities at the building. Only seniors 60 and above may be on the premises for any activity.

"It wasn't that way before, anybody could come in. Right now, it is for the benefit of 60 and older," Kendall went on to say. "We are so thankful to the community during the last two years. They have kept us going."

She added that donations from the community have included money and food. They received donations from local farmers, including beef and pigs, as well as Crook County residents who have bought steers from the 4-H auction at fair. The 1017 Project, local farmers and grants from supporters like Les Schwab have also been huge contributors.

"We are up and ready to go," said Kendall of their status, as they wait to reopen. "The staff in the kitchen have not missed a beat."

"We have a great town," she concluded.

Sidebar

Prineville Senior Center hours

Monday through Friday

Current: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Break: 1 to 2 p.m.

When reopening:

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Coordinator: Stephanie Jones

Phone: 541-447-6844


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