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Morning Brew Recap: Don Erickson, Executive Director of the Manistique Senior Center

This month, we hosted Don Erickson, Executive Director of the Manistique Senior Center!

The purpose of this event is to foster connections within the community, encouraging participants to interact with local leaders, business owners, and hometown heroes.  Held at The Grind Coffee House, these events provide a platform for meaningful discussions about the current events and developments in our community.

This month, we hosted Don Erickson, Executive Director of the Manistique Senior Center. Don proved to be a wealth of information, we enjoyed insightful conversation and gained a deeper understanding of the invaluable services that the Manistique Senior Center offers to the members of our community.

We hope you enjoy the highlights on this conversation.

How did the Senior Center start in Manistique?

The Manistique Senior Center was formed in 1967, with its original location in the Jennie Putnam home on the corner of Main and Cedar (in Manistique), which is the area where Dr. Peter Jacobs currently has his office.  Richard Marsh was hired as the first director of the center in 1967.  In the 1978, the center moved into its current location which was the former DNR building.

How is the Senior Center Funded?

The Manistique Senior Center is funded utilizing multiple sources;

  • Grant funds from the Older Americans Act, funds are managed by UPCAP
  • Millage Funds which are overseen by the Schoolcraft County Commission on Ageing
  • Fundraisers such as the Elvis Impersonation Show at the Manistique Area Schools Auditorium, scheduled for 11/18/2023.
  • Daily lunch Program, provided through the Community Action Agency.
How many members do you have?

We currently have approximately 300 members.  The annual cost of membership is $10 per senior and covers the cost of postage for our newsletter, published monthly.

Is there an age requirement to become a member?

There is no strict age requirement, but it is suggested that an individual be 55 or older to participate in most programming.  Additionally, an individual must be 60 or older to qualify for our grant-funded programs such as Homemaker Aide and Medical Transport Rides.

Who can be a member of the Senior Center?

The Senior Center serves all residents ages 60+ in Schoolcraft County, this can cause some confusion because our name is Manistique Senior Center however, we serve the entire county.

Do I have to qualify or sign up for daily lunches?

All seniors are welcome to join us for lunch. There is a suggested donation of $4.00 per senior and $7.00 for non-seniors, but all are welcome regardless of age and the amount of the donation. To join us, please call 906-341-5085 the day before you plan to attend. Lunches are provided by MDS Community Action Agency.

What are some of the services offered through the Manistique Senior Center? We provide a wide variety of programming, catering to everyone’s interests. The list below provides a general overview, but if you have a specific need not mentioned, please contact us directly.
  • Social Events- Thanksgiving and Christmas Programs, Card Groups, and Potlucks.
  • Daily Lunch (Provided through Community Action)
  • Medical Closet
  • Educational Programing, included but not limited to;

-Tech Talks with Don

-Fraud & Cybersecurity Sessions, facilitated by Limestone FCU

-Alzheimer’s Education, provided by the Alzheimer’s Association in Marquette

-Estate Planning, facilitated by Bogan & Yonkers

  • Health Clinics

-Foot Clinic, offered by Northwoods Home Health

-Flu Shot Clinic, offered by Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital

  • Weekly Bingo
  • Gift Shop available for members to sell handmade and craft items.
  • Senior Project Fresh Coupons – offered May through October, this program offers $25 coupons to seniors to purchase non processed products for items manufactured in Michigan.
Are there other programs that we should be aware of?

One program, designed to assist seniors with the cost of snow removal, will be announced shortly. This program is open to all seniors aged 60 and above and operates as a reimbursement program. Seniors will pay their service provider directly and then submit receipts to the Senior Center for reimbursement. The program has a $300 cap per senior and an overall program cap. It is expected to run from November to April or until funds are exhausted. More information will be published in the coming weeks.

A final area of discussion was focused on funding and donations. While the center is primarily funded by grant funds and a millage, it also relies on donations and conducts fundraising to support programming in areas not covered by grants or millage funds. Additionally, we were joined by Julie Barr and Alyssa Swanson from the Schoolcraft Community Foundation, who reported that there is a fund set up at the Schoolcraft Community Foundation specifically for the Manistique Senior Center. The center also accepts donations directly.

Following this session, I had the opportunity to review the newsletter which is packed with events, recipes, memorials, and birthdays.

Overall, this was an exceptional conversation that provided participants with an excellent opportunity to become better acquainted with Don Erickson, while gaining important insight on services and programing offered by the Manistique Senior Center. You can visit the Manistique Senior Center online here.

Watch for information on future sessions. We believe that these interactions continue to a more informed and connected community, fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility.

In closing, thank you for your continued support, we look forward to your participation in future events.

Wishing you and your families a safe and joyous holiday season filled with gratitude.

-Jennifer Watson, CEO Limestone FCU