PRINCETON — Gibson County Council on Aging is raising money to replace the 40-year-old flat roof at the senior center on Richland Creek Drive, located just south of Rural King in Princeton.

The estimated cost of the roof replacement is at least $60,000, and the organization has raised $5,700 thus far in fundraisers.

GCCOA, a non-profit organization serving seniors of the community, offers weekly activities and classes, transportation for seniors and the disabled, and a senior food pantry.

New board treasurer Jason Bradshaw said the main goal is to engage seniors and keep them active. "We provide transportation not only to doctor appointments but also to hair appointments and to get groceries. As people who get to go out and do things on our own, we don't understand what it's like to be able to have the ability to go out and do these things that we take for granted," said Bradshaw.

"The senior center helped my grandmother when she was still alive by transporting her from Francisco to her doctor appointments," said Bradshaw. "If it wasn't for their transportation, I don't know how we would have gotten her there," he explained.

Raising money for a new roof through donations, fundraising and hosting events for the community is the best way to update the facility without cutting away from other services that they provide on a normal basis.

The roof is reaching the end of its useful life, buckling and leaking. GCCOA Executive Director Michelle Fry said that a couple of months ago, the organization paid $800 to get a small area on the roof patched, which only helped temporarily.

Fry said keeping up with the leaks means moving seven buckets around to catch the water, and moving items from one room to another to protect them from being ruined from the water.

The GCCOA is hosting a fundraiser Saturday, and Fry said the events can serve a dual purpose of raising money and bringing more people to the center. "I just wish the younger generation would come check out the center… I would give anyone a tour and talk to them about what we do here," she said.

On Saturday, May 18, the center hosts a plant sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed that evening with a barbecue dinner featuring smoked pork, baked beans, potato salad, dessert and drink for $10 per plate from 5-7 p.m. There will also be entertainment and door prizes at the dinner.

Fundraising events are open to the public and all ages are welcome to attend.

For more information about the organization, activities and services offered, or to make a donation, call 812-385-2897 or visit the center Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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