SARAH HOWARD: Jingle Bell Ball sees large turnout

Rosie Turk takes the mic and sings "White Christmas" on Karaoke Day with Jill Hunter, at the senior center. (Courtesy photo)

Rosie Turk takes the mic and sings “White Christmas” on Karaoke Day with Jill Hunter, at the senior center. (Courtesy photo)

Manistee County Council on Aging Executive Director

I have been sitting trying to figure out what I should share with everyone this week. There has been so much going on lately I don’t know how to narrow it down, but I am going to give it a try.

The Manistee County Council on Aging put out a news release on Tuesday regarding the Oleson’s property. It is with a heavy heart that I let you know the Manistee County Council on Aging is no longer negotiating with the development company on this project. The entire COA board, and I really felt this was such a wonderful project and wanted to see it succeed, but there was just too much uncertainty about our ability to make our payments and still maintain all of our services and programs for the seniors in Manistee County.

When I took this position, I never dreamed we would work on something this complicated. I have learned that nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and we are already looking at other possibilities. I want to thank everyone for their overwhelming support, and I hope you will be patient with all of us. We are really trying to do what is right and responsible for the seniors of Manistee County.

I think we may have had the biggest Jingle Bell Ball in history yesterday. We had a huge group of people who came to dance, eat, visit and enjoy everything that was going on. Everyone said they enjoyed themselves and everything went great. The party was held at the St. Joseph Parish Center, which is such a great place to have a fun festive party. Thanks to everyone at the Divine Mercy Parish. Everything was just great. Thank you to Jerry Zupin and his catering crew. As always, the food was delicious and a big hit. To Virgil Baker and the Just 4 Fun Boys, thank you for making this party such a success. I don’t think I have ever seen this many seniors dancing at our parties.Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped out during the party. You definitely make our jobs easier.

This year at the Jingle Bell Ball, we honored some great people and a great store for always supporting the Manistee County Council on Aging and helping in so many ways. Whether we need a donation for an event, a cake for birthdays, food for food bank, (Simply Give program) or help cleaning up or serving during a party, Meijer has been there to lend a helping hand. We want Ken Babcock, Susan Espvik, the Meijer team members and the Meijer Corporation to know how much we appreciate everything they do for the seniors of Manistee County.

There was a lot of wrapping going on last week at the Senior Center. We received so many wonderful donations for the seniors at the adult foster care homes and for some isolated homebound seniors. Thank you to all of the volunteers who came in to help out. We really appreciate all of your help. It is wonderful to see how many people pitched in and brought presents in for their wish lists. Thank you, Manistee County.

We had such a great time with Jill Hunter, the karaoke gal on Monday. She came in and sang some great songs and then got the crowd to

Volunteers start wrapping the many donated gifts for the Adult Foster Care Home Christmas Gift project. (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers start wrapping the many donated gifts for the Adult Foster Care Home Christmas Gift project. (Courtesy photo)

participate. I am mad at myself. I have a terrible singing voice and yes, I am like everyone else, self-conscious so I didn’t try to sing. So, even if I am laughed at and humiliated, everyone is going to hear me sing on Wednesday.

Tuesday, we had the 3Ds who were joined by Bob, in for Toe Tapping. Always a great time with these great guys. Wednesday, we had a large group in for Bingo. I thought we wouldn’t get as many people due to the snow. But we were pleasantly surprised with the crowd. Thursday, we had to cancel our seated Tai Chi class with Paula because of the weather. Paula is so positive and loves to work with everyone so be sure to check out one of her classes.

This week we have Police Talk with John O’Hagan at 12:30 p.m. on Monday. Come in and see what he will discuss this week. Wednesday, we are celebrating December birthdays before Fun Bingo and at 12:15 p.m. we have the Karaoke Gal coming in to have some fun. Thursday, we have the Drum Circle which is so interesting and fun. You don’t have to know how to play an instrument to join in. Friday there will be no Meals on Wheels, they are off for the holidays.

I hope you have a great week and don’t forget to try something new!


On Dec. 20 at 12:15 p.m. is music, entertainment and karaoke with Jill Hunter. Come sing along.

On Dec. 21 is the new seated Tai Chi class at 1 p.m. at the city Marina building.

On Dec. 22 there will be no meals or activities at the senior center.

On Dec. 25 and 26 the senior center will be closed for the Christmas holiday.

On Dec. 29 Carrie Selbee and Roger Tarczon will be entertaining us.


The Senior Center Food Bank takes place from 9 -11 a.m. on the third Friday of the month. Seniors from Manistee County who are 60 years of age and older are eligible to participate. The next food bank will be Jan. 19. Please remember, there will be no food bank in December.


This program provides people on Medicare with free assistance and education so they can make informed health care coverage decisions. Bill Tod is our local counselor and he can help you; understand eligibility, enrollment, coverage, claims and appeals; identify resources for prescription drug assistance; understand options under Medicare Advantage plans; solve problems related to Medicare/Medicaid coverage; and understand Medicare notices summary. Please call the Senior Center at (231) 723-6477 to make an appointment with Bill.


Gaye Fett is available to answer questions and assist with Medicaid nursing home applications. Call the Senior Center at (231) 723-6477 or toll free (888) 723-9060 to schedule an appointment.


The MCCOA has a program designed to help seniors remain independent, by reimbursing qualifying expenses. If you are a senior from Manistee County, you could receive reimbursement for payments you have made for house cleaning, yard work, snow removal services. For current clients in the Senior Reimbursement Program, please take note, all receipts must be current, no more than 30 days old. Income requirements apply. New clients must fill out registration form. Please call the Senior Center at (231) 723-6477 for more information.


There is a Diabetic support group that meets at 10 a.m. on the first Monday of every month at the Senior Center. The next meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 8.


We are seeking volunteers for the Seniors Visiting Seniors program. Volunteers will visit homebound seniors in Manistee County. Please call the Senior Center for more information.


There is a Parkinsons support group that meets the third Thursday of every month (no meeting in January and February) at the Munson Manistee Hospital’s Education Center, Room #1. For more information call Jeannie Lewis at (231) 299-1286 or Linda Nickelson at (231) 690-5048.


The MCCOA is asking local businesses and individuals for donations of items to be used as prizes for the upcoming Jingle Bell Ball, the annual Christmas party for our seniors. Donations of non-perishable foods for the senior food bank are always appreciated. Please contact the senior center at (231) 723-6477.


The Senior Center has access to adult briefs and pads if you or a loved one are a senior and are in need. Please call the Senior Center to check on availability.


The MCCOA has started a Sit & Get Fit exercise program in the Bear Lake Area. They meet Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-11 a.m. and Monday at 11 a.m. at the Bear Lake Methodist Church. There is also a Sit and Get Fit held on Monday & Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. (just before lunch) at the Farr Center in Onekama, and Tuesdays at 10 a.m. at the Norman Township Community Center in Wellston. Tai Chi (on DVD) group meets on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. Sweating to the Oldies with Richard Simmons (on DVD) is held Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. at the Senior Center. Inside walking group meets Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. at the Marilla meal site. A new seated Tai Chi class will meet Thursday afternoons at 1 p.m. at the city Marina building. This class is open to the public. The class is free to Manistee County seniors, there is a charge for others.


Linda Theisen will be offering computer /cell phone help second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 1 p.m. at the Marilla mealsite, after lunch.



· 9 a.m. Exercise

· 10 a.m. Computer help

· 11 a.m. Social hour

· Noon meal

· 12:30 p.m. Police Talk

· 3:30 p.m. Sweating to the Oldies

· No pinochle today


· 10 a.m. Sit & get fit

· 11 a.m. Social hour

· Noon meal

· 1 p.m. Bridge


· 9 a.m. Exercise

· 10 a.m. Losing It

· December birthdays

· 11 a.m. Fun Bingo

· Noon lunch

· 12:15 p.m. Karaoke with Jill Hunter

· 2:30 p.m. Tai Chi

· 3:30 p.m. Sweating to the Oldies


· 10 a.m. Sit & get fit

· 11 a.m. Social hour

· Noon meal

· 12:30 p.m. Drum Circle

· 1 p.m. Seated Tai Chi (marina bldg.)


· No meals or activities today


Monday: Chop suey over rice, Asian vegetables,sugar snap peas, pears, roll

Tuesday: Cream of broccoli soup, chicken salad sandwich, coleslaw, pineapple tidbits

Wednesday: Meatloaf, baked potato, corn, raspberry fluff dessert, roll

Thursday: Sloppy joes, tater tots, baked beans, apple crisp

Friday: Meals on Wheels closed today

(Menu is subject to change)

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