August 5, 2010

Center For Active Seniors – CASI

maryBy Mary Schricker, SRES
Ruhl&Ruhl Real Estate

“Age is opportunity no less than youth itself except in another dress.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Shortly after I began my real estate career I ventured out to Baltimore, Maryland to obtain a special designation as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist ( SRES). Little did I know that the classes I took would be the impetus for a passion that would take me far beyond the world of real estate? I have since earned an additional designation as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and have over the years spent many hours counseling seniors on options available to them. I have sat on boards, chaired committees, given presentations, and written articles all to raise awareness about issues that impact seniors. But of all my community obligations, I am most passionate about my involvement at the Center for Active Seniors (CASI).

After my dad died in 2002, my mom moved to Davenport. Leaving behind a lifetime of friends in St. Louis, Missouri my mom felt isolated and insecure about making new friends at her advanced age. I suggested she get involved at CASI. After some resistance she agreed to begin
volunteering at the center. That led to involvement in numerous activities where she met new friends and brought purpose to her new found life. CASI became her life line as it has for so many other Quad City seniors and their families over the years.

CASI began as a senior center in 1973 in the old Lend A Hand building in downtown Davenport. The top two floors provided city housing for seniors and the center on the main level fed lunch daily to about one hundred people. In 1989 the CASI moved to 1035 West Kimberly Road. After extensive remodeling it is now a nationally accredited center providing a variety of social, educational, support, wellness programs and activities designed for adults 55+ throughout the Quad City area. It is actually four centers in one!

• It is a Center for Active Seniors offering programming and activities for lifelong learning, creative expression, socialization, and health and wellness for active seniors.
• It is an Aging Resource and Advocacy Center providing information and hands on assistance with local, state, and federal benefits and programs to older adults, their families, caregivers and service organizations.
• It is Jane‚Äôs Place Adult Day Health Center providing care and supported activities in a home like setting for adults who needs supervised care during the day.
• It is a Community Center- a great place for people of all ages to gather for meetings, wedding receptions and other special celebrations as well as business and community presentations.

CASI’s dedicated staff is joined by volunteers of all ages and walks of life who together support CASI’s mission to provide the older population with activities, programs and resources that will engage seniors in a fun, safe, and social environment.

CASI’s annual operating budget is $1.5 million. The organization earns, through services and fees collected, fund raising events, and grant writing, 75% of these funds or $1.1 million. CASI receives the remaining “unearned” funding ($375,000) from Scott County, United Way, Generations on Aging and City Development Block Grant funding. CASI received a funding reduction of $40,000 in unearned funding for this fiscal year. The challenge to meet the increasing number of seniors with limited funding has just begun. When the baby boomers begin to turn age 65 in 2011, our society will experience rapid growth in the senior population and the demands on CASI as well as other senior service providers will increase dramatically. The number of seniors is projected to swell from 39 million in 2010 to 63 million in 2020 and further to 82 million in 2050. One Hundred years from now America will have 131.2 million persons age 65 or older. That number is equivalent to the population of our entire country in 1940!

During these economic times we understand that greater scrutiny is needed by all of us when making the decision to financially support our community programs, however I hope you will please consider giving to our “Friends of CASI Annual Gift Giving Campaign.” You can be assured that 100% of your investment goes directly to CASI to support the much needed services and programs that the seniors of our community deserve.

Facts about CASI
• 1500 members and growing
• Average age is 68
• Annually 124,000 visitors both members and non members
• 13,449 meals served in the GenAge Caf√©
• Annual Center Activities: Daily-4,500, Senior Event 108, Community Events-170
• Jane’s Place daily manages over 10 specific activities, & has an average of 37 clients.
• Senior Advocacy & Outreach has a total of 11,027 contacts.