Swingin’ Senior Savings: Educating Seniors on How They Can Reduce Expenses

bills.jpgMany senior citizens are on fixed incomes and have to live within a tight budget.  When Jeanne Covert learned that several senior citizens she knew were having difficulty paying their utility bills she created a community project for her Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program called. ‘Swingin Senior Savings’.  Her goal was to create an event at the local senior center educate seniors on things they could do to reduce their expenses.

The story comes from Bridgton News:

DOWNE TWP. — Swingin’ Senior Savings will still be held on July 27, at 5 p.m., at the Downe Township Senior Center, but it will not be advertised as hosted by the senior center. Some members of the center objected at a public meeting Tuesday that the vote to allow the center to be the venue for the event should have been taken at a public meeting of all the members, and not by a meeting of only the commissioners.

Whether the seniors are advertised as hosting the event or not, some of the members will be helping Jeanne Covert, who originated the project as part of a class she is taking in Philadelphia with the Landmark Education International School. The assignment was to create an event that would make a difference to the community.

Covert said that last winter she became aware of three senior citizens who were having difficulty paying their fuel bills. She then learned of others in the area who were having similar problems with bills. “I got together with the commissioners of the senior center to talk about the possibility of holding the event here,” she said. “They supported the event.”  Covert said not only did most of the commissioners support the event, member Ruth McConnell agreed to manage the event to completion. McConnell reported on what has been done to date and what remained to be done.

The event will be for all Cumberland County seniors. One CATS bus has been reserved for the first 20 Cumberland County senior citizens to call by July 20. There will be pizza and subs, door prizes, dessert and coffee and information on how to save on energy, medical and tax costs.  There also will be a special appearance by the Brown Street Chowder Society, one of the area’s favorite musical groups.  Seating is limited. Those wanting to participate must register by July 20 by calling 447-3039.

McConnell reported that 21 people already have registered, including some from Bridgeton and Millville.   She was still looking for somebody to pick up the pizza and other donated items. Covert asked for donations of baked goods. Volunteers also were sought to set up and clean up the room. Mayor Chester Riland said chairs would not have to be put back until Monday.

Betty Mahoney, president of the groups, said Covert had spoken to her before the first meeting with commissioners, and she thought it sounded like a great idea. No money from the senior account will be used toward the event. Other members said after the meeting that their objections were not to the event, but to the fact that the organization’s bylaws were not followed.

Covert should have first requested the venue in writing, then a vote should have been taken at a general meeting before plans went forward. They also said it is not the policy of the senior group to ask for donations. Covert said she hoped the event could become an annual one, no matter who hosts it in the future.

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