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Tue, Aug. 04

Williams Senior Center ramps up activities for spring

Men play pool at the Williams Senior Center.
Photo by Wendy Howell.

Men play pool at the Williams Senior Center.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Wii Bowling, 8-ball pool, Harkins Theatre trips and shopping in Flagstaff are just some of the activities organized by the Bill Williams Seniors at the Williams Senior Center.

The 40 member group meets monthly to for activities and discuss fund raising ideas. The group donates money raised by the Senior Center Thrift Store to civic groups in Williams.

At their last meeting, the group divided up over $1,650 dollars to groups such as the Williams High School marching band, Little League, St. Vincent De


Senior Center Director Dolores Paredes displays a survival package seniors have made to deliver to the homeless.

Paul, the Salvation Army and the Armondo Dancers.

Senior Center coordinator Dolores Parades said the group has grown in the past few years and has been more active in raising money for other groups.

“In the summer we get a lot more members as people come up to escape the heat,” she said.

Parades works for Coconino County Community Services and oversees the Williams Senior Center, the Meals on Wheels program and Congregate Meals.

For pregnant women and mothers, the Women, Infant and Children program office and other social services are also located in the building.

Parades said those who need help with utility bills, rent, food or clothing can come to the Senior Center and she will direct them to the service that can help them the most.

Between the Salvation Army, Coconino Social Services, WIC and St. Vincent De Paul, Parades said most people can get some type of assistance for the situation.

The Senior Center Thrift Store not only raises money for community groups but also has items they can donate to those in need.

“A big part of what they do is provide for the community,” she said.

The thrift store is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m most days and is always seeking donations.

“We are always looking for clothing and household items in good condition,” Paredes said. “We don’t really have room for large furniture or appliances.”

Parades said the Meals on Wheels program and Congregate Meals helps ensure the seniors in the Williams community are getting healthy meals.

“It’s a way to keep our eyes on people,” she said. “Our drivers see a lot when they deliver meals. They will tell us if someone doesn’t look good and we can call their families or 911 if needed.”

The Salvation Army provides emergency financial assistance to residents in need. The organization assists with heating and electric payments to places such as APS, Unisource and Superior Propane. They also occasionally assist with other utilities such as water.

The Salvation Army has and office where interviews are conducted and paperwork can be filled out.

Patricia Helgeson is the Williams Salvation Army liaison and is available two days per week at the Senior Center to process intakes and issue payments for shutdowns and past due notices.

The organization has a messaging system that they will check daily.

Parades occassionally assists Helgeson with processing.

Helgeson said many calls for assistance come during the winter because of higher heating bills and lack of employment opportunities.

Residents with emergency utility payment needs can request assistance from the Salvation Army once per year. Funds are raised through the bell-ringing program and the red buckets placed at businesses around town

Parades said the Senior Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. day and seniors are welcome to drop by anytime throughout the day.

“It’s really about socialization and meeting with people your own age,” she said. “It’s important to get out of the house and away from the TV. Here they are talking and eating a good meal.”

For assistance with emergency needs, the Salvation Army can be reached at (928) 221-3557 or people can stop by the Williams Senior Center at 850 W. Grant Avenue.

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