On June 11th the Sedona Community Center was thrilled to celebrate our 33rd anniversary. We celebrated the 33rd and kicked off the 34th year Friday, June 9th, with an ‘anniversary bash’ complete with hand-decorated cake by our own Chef Peggy, great entertainment by Eric Williams on the keyboard, and a roomful of our wonderful regular guests, board members, and special guest Sedona City Councilor, John Currivan.
Our story began when an inspired group—the local Kachina Retired Teachers association—envisioned a gathering place for meaningful interactions and stimulating activities. Taking the first step of their vision, the Adult Community Center of Sedona was incorporated in 1984.
That same year two compassionate, civic-minded residents, Margaret Flynn and a close friend, started the Sedona Home Delivered Meals Program. Supported through generous donations from local supermarkets, the program quickly outgrew the original home-based location.
At this junction of history, there is a fascinating story that I believe truly illustrates the neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy that makes Sedona so special. Ms. Flynn approached Sedona Winds Retirement Community for a solution to the many meals they were now preparing and delivering. The compassionate leadership of Sedona Winds graciously agreed, and for approximately one year they coordinated with Margaret and the Home Delivered Meals drivers to get the lunches out to the community. The system included Sedona Winds delivering meals to the Flicker Shack parking lot where a chained oversized cooler was attached to a light pole in the middle of the parking lot. Drivers picked up the meals from there for distribution throughout Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. I am happy to say that our whole Home Delivered Meals crew—from the kitchen, to the coordinator, and amazing volunteer drivers—continues to demonstrate this determined dedication towards the Home Delivered Meals recipients.
In 1985 the Meals on Wheels program was adopted by the Center and in 1986, the current property was deeded to the Community Center through a forward-thinking gift from the local Harmony Hills property owners. In two short years, the community services that are integral to the heart and mission of the organization that we now know as the Sedona Community Center was born.
Friends and Neighbors Creating Community—Thirty three years later, we are going strong with a dedicated team of volunteers, staff, and board members committed to staying true to the mission of the founders. While it is impossible to recognize and name every individual or organization that has supported the vision of the Community Center, their efforts continue on in our current and future success. Fulfilling the basic and critical need for food while providing social interaction that is sustenance for the soul continues to be at the heart of our services.
Our award-winning nutritional services help our older neighbors and those with medical needs maintain independence in the security of their own homes. In addition to the vital Meals on Wheels and Congregate Lunch services, the Center offers meeting and event spaces at reasonable cost, and a variety of wellness, educational, and support classes open to people of all ages.
Along with our 33rd year celebration, the Sedona Community Center has our “$33,000 for 33 Years” fundraising campaign underway, asking our friends and supporters to consider contributing $33, $333, $3,333 or any other combination of donation in support of the Center. The funds will be used to assist with needed renovations in the dining room and to ensure the continuity of a service unique to the Sedona Community Center—the Weekend/ Breakfast Club. Each Friday, participating Meals on Wheels recipients receive a bag full of food delivered to their home. This additional food provides weeklong breakfasts and helps them get through the weekend when Meals and Wheels service is not available. Initially, no one could foresee the huge success of the Weekend/Breakfast Club—or the great need. Recently, the number of our neighbors requesting the extra food bags has more than doubled. Contributions made towards our 33-for-33 Campaign will help to ensure that the Weekend/ Breakfast Club, and other critical services, can continue to expand… because food should never be optional.
It is humbling and inspiring to walk down the historical pathway of the Center’s beginnings. It is also encouraging and invigorating to take a peek into the possibilities of the future. If you haven’t had the opportunity to engage in one of our classes or enjoy a meal with us, please feel free to drop by anytime. Our hours of operation are M-Th 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Fri/Sat 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Check out www.sccsedona.org for information about how to donate to the 33-for-33 campaign or find times for meal service, activities, our menus and event calendars.