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Council on Aging, Inc., serving St. Clair County

47 Years of Achievements

1967 – Concerned citizens in Port Huron plan the creation of a Council on Aging, which would provide programs to senior citizens in accordance with the 1965 Older Americans Act.

1968 – In May, the St. Clair County Council on Aging, is Incorporated. Socialization, programs, cards, potlucks, and travel are offered at Desmond Senior Housing in Port Huron to an initial membership of 50 seniors.

1969 – The Council on Aging Newsletter is published and circulated to members.

1970 – The City of Port Huron funds CoA transportation for city residents. This is the first free senior transportation in the United States, and will be used as a model by many localities throughout the nation in later years.

1971 – CoA sees the opening of the 7th Street Senior Center in the old D.S.S. building. Seniors remodel the Center with the help of the Quota Club. Meals are available thanks to a donation of kitchen equipment by Detroit Edison.

1973 – Programs are started Downriver in Algonac and Maine City.

1974 – Information and Referral and Outreach services are introduced and the county provides the first van for countywide transportation.

1975 – Brings the opening of the Yale Senior Center in the Old Woolen Mills thanks to Mr. Mitchell, and the County expands transportation services by providing vans to Port Huron periphery and Yale.

1977 – The Foster Grandparent Program, Home Repair, Homemaker and Green Thumb programs are added to provide programs, transportation, I&R, and Outreach services.

1979 – The St. Clair County on Aging proposes the creation of a county millage. This proposal is passed by the voters to become the first senior services millage in Michigan.

1980-1983 – These years provide continued growth for the Council through the funding of a Program Developer, the establishment of the St. Clair County Senior Advocates, the organization of the Center Players (the predecessors of the Over 50 Follies), and the addition of Seek and Find (door-to-door) Outreach and Chores services.

1984 – Downriver Senior Services moved into the Cherry Beach Senior Center. Michigan Department of Transportation provides vehicles for countywide transportation.

1985 – The Administrative offices are moved to Eight Street in Port Huron.

1986 – The Friendly Visitor/Caller program is funded.

1987-1989 – Independence for life, from Michigan National Corporation donates two vans.

1990 – Brought the opening of Starpath Senior Adult Day Care and the organization of Off Our Rockers at Cherry Beach.

1991 – Independence for Life donates a replacement van to the Council on Aging.

1992 – The Council on Aging hosts the regional Ms. Sr. Michigan Pagaent and the first Antique Car Queen fundraising contest is held.

1993 – CoA sees the addition of the Senior Nutrition Program to expand the CoA’s continuum of care with 10 congregate meal sites, five kitchens and home delivered meals.

1994-1996 – Senior Nutrition expanded it’s home delivered service area, providing the service county-wide.

1995 – The Benevolent Prescription Drug Program was added to the list of CoA services.

1996 – In December, CoA senior nutrition moved the location of its largest kitchen to the St. Clair County Community College and the weekend meals were added to the list of the CoA services.

1997 – The CoA purchased the old Detroit Edison building in downtown Port Huron in September. A major fundraising campaign was launched to secure the funds needed to renovate the facility. Home Injury Control funding was secured for purchasing and installing ramps and safety devices for low income seniors throughout the county.

1998 – Saw home delived meals program expand to offer liquid meals as prescribed by the seniors’ physicians.

1999 – Personal Care and Respite Care were added to the listing of CoA services.

2000 – Brought some of the longest awaited changes for the CoA when five separate operating locations in the Port Huron area were consolidated into the Council on Aging/Port Huron Senior Center in Port Huron in June. October saw the grand opening of the Capac Senior Center’s new location at the Lion’s Club in Capac.

2001 – Structured computer classes were offered in the new computer lab at the Port Huron Senior Center for the first time.

2002 – Seniors from the globe can access the CoA’s webpage at www.thecouncilonaging.org for information on our programs and services. In April the CoA’s first published Annual Report was distributed to the community at large. In October, the CoA began a joint project with the County to enroll county senior residents who had no prescription coverage in a prescription discount program.

2003 – Saw the expansion of health and fitness initiatives with the designation of a county-wide Health and Fitness Coordinator and the availability of the personal fitness trainer program at the Port Huron Senior Center. CoA changed its formal name to “Council on Aging, Inc., serving St. Clair County”.

2004 – The nutrition meal site in St. Clair was moved to Pine Shores Golf Course to allow for new expanded services like the Senior Nutrition Program’s catering service called “COAST” (Culinary Options Addressing Senior Tastes).

2005 – CoA opens a new congregate meal site at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in the south end of Port Huron.

2006 – Renovations are completed at the Capac Senior Center to spruce up the center’s interior. A group fro Veterans of Foreign Wars is begun through the Port Huron Senior Center. CoA, under a new grant, sponsors a workshop for Grand Parents Raising Grandchildren. The first Walk for Meals was held.

2007 – Saw the purchase of four replacement vehicles for the Meals on Wheels program through a combination of funding sources (MDOT, Senior Services Millage and donations from the Walk for Meals). “Visions for the Future”, CoA’s cable television show aired for the first time locally on Channel 6 in December.

2008 – The “Vision for the Future” television show continues with new shows monthly. Seniors and their families are encouraged to join the audience for tapings at Port Huron High School’s Auditorium. With financial support from the Community Foundation of St. Clair County and Citizens First Foundation, senior nutrition took delivery of a new “hotshot” for home deliveries.

2009 – CoA was awarded three Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses with the assistance of Blue Water Area Transportation and MDOT. Members of the CoA may receive the “Senior Happenings Newsletter” via e-mail. The current economic times saw the Senior Nutrition Program doing its first solicitation letter.

2010 – The CoA implemented a Fund Development Program called “Grow the Vision”. This program focuses on several different areas such as Major Donors, Special Fundraising Events, Endowments, and Planned Giving. CoA Board Members, staff, and volunteers are included on the various Committees.

2011 – CoA celebrated the one year anniversary of the acquisition of the Washington Life Center in Marine City. This facility was acquired from the East China School District and replaced the Cherry Beach Senior Center. The CoA was awarded three Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses with the assistance of Blue Water Area Transportation and MDOT.

2012 – This was a year of challenges with State, Federal, and Millage funding cuts. Through responsible fiscal management, and a dedicated staff, the CoA continued to provide excellent services to the senior citizens of St. Clair County. Liturgical Publications, Inc., took over the printing and assembly of the senior happenings Newsletter at no cost to the CoA.

2013 – St. Clair County residents approved a 0.3 millage increase to the Senior Citizen Service Millage in August in 2012. This was the first increase in 26 years! The increase in dollars was captured starting January 2013. In October, Dr. Norbert & Alberta Conrad signed over the title to the property they donated in Capac. This launched a fundraising campaign to cover construction of a new facility.

2014 – CoA broke ground for the new Conrad Community Center in Capac. In August, St. Clair County residents passed the Senior Citizens Service Millage by a 78% margin that included the previous .5 mil and the 0.3 mil increase (it became one ballot proposal) for a total of 0.8 mil.