December 1, 2020
Happy Holidays one and all,
We wish that we could all gather for our annual holiday caroling, dinner, and drinking eggnog at the senior center. If you are out driving around admiring the holiday lights, please come by ASAC and see how your staff have made the holidays and trees a little brighter. ,
The latest happening at the Center:
- Even more Zoom classes in Fitness. New health and wellness classes such as Brain Games, Nutrition Education and a drive down the internet on our special "Highway 61." We again team up with AARP and Senior Voice/OPAG to offer Age Smart Let's Talk on December 8th with "Avoiding Holiday Scams" presented by Michelle Tabler, Alaska Regional Manager, Better Business Bureau. You can attend by Zoom or simply audio.
- Thank you all who made our virtual Veteran's Day Celebration so inspiring. Thank you to our new sponsor, Denali. A Division of NuVision Credit Union. Thank you, Keith Fernandez, VP of Denali/Nuvision Credit Union, for your interest and support for our seniors and veterans. During this holiday season we thank all our service men and women for your sacrifices for all of us.
- The Facility renovation, funded by the $2.75 million bond, has begun. The architectural renderings are now 95% complete, in large part due to the persistent nudging of our facility committee chair, Kurt Steinert. In 2021, we will replace our entry skylight, remodel four men's and woman's bathrooms to meet current ADA standards. Our renovated kitchen will shine with countertop and new cabinets in the Arctic Rose. We finally secured our Beer and Wine license so look for our new bar and your favorite beers and wines. We plan to expand the fitness space to accommodate additional classes. Look for new projects to improve the Center!
The staff developed a three phase plan for reopening ASAC.
- Phase I has limited access by appointments only due to COVID numbers.
- Phase 2 provides access to the facility and programs onsite once the COVID numbers decrease and the State and Municipality issue new information assuring the community we can safely do so.
- Phase 3 is when we can return to normal. Once we have fewer cases of COVID, and the vaccine becomes available in Alaska, we can hopefully be back to normal as soon as possible.
- As of now, we remain in Phase I, which means most programs are offered by zoom or audio. We are accepting phone appointments for Medicare and the Benefit Enrollment Center and plan to resume onsite appointments once the COVID numbers decline. For now, unfortunately, we remain challenged with the COVID spike in numbers in the community.
ASAC essential employees are primarily working in the office, however many have the option of working from home as we have provided the latest technology to provide this service from both the office and home.
With COIVD19 many of us need to curtail our holiday plans to remain safe. Many have been isolating since March. Planning for the holidays takes extra energy and thought. I remember my traditions. These holiday memories motivate me to trim the tree, bringing out beloved ornaments and decorations, to again cook favorite family recipes. I look forward to being with family and friends by zoom. I enjoy finding things I put away last year. I rediscover the treasures tucked away, wrapping paper, and other novelty gifts. This year I will dig out those old boxes of memories and finally put together that family photo album, put slides on DVD's and complete the many projects I have my promised my family I would have ready when we gather again.
I plan to put on some favorite holiday music, pour a glass of eggnog , and phone all those friends and family I miss. I will tell them how much of a difference they make in my life. I will remember and smile for those who I cannot call but remain my guiding lights.
I believe that there will be more holidays ahead. I enjoy planning a holiday family visit in person next year, to take the trips that remain on my bucket list and celebrating with you at our Senior Center without masks or worry.
Please stay safe and enjoy the holidays. Happy New Year, too, and for my orthodox friends who will celebrate January 7th Orthodox Christmas. Next year we celebrate together at our senior center!
Warmest wishes, Becky Parker, Executive Director