Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year! Welcome 2021!

Here's to the future of Rainier!

Last year was challenging for many of us.  COVID-19, lock-downs, masks, school closures and all of the heartache that went along during these challenging times.

Many of us were ill last year from the middle of December through February.  We've talked among ourselves wondering if we had that virus during that time.  That was the worst flu season I've ever experienced.  We had seniors with pneumonia, bronchitis, flu and URI's.  Those that were ill, were ill for several weeks.  Many went to their doctors for treatments several times.  

This year, we have few people who contracted colds or the flu.  I don't know if it's because of the "Stay Safe, Stay Home" orders with the accompanying guidelines.  It was nice to be free from the flu and colds, tho!

Seniors working with Students:

We have grandparents at our center who are helping their children and grandchildren as they struggle through these challenging times.  Our hearts break for parents and students that have been on the "virtual learning" programs.  Students need to interact with their friends and other people.  Being a parent is a tremendous responsibility.  That being said, parents can't be everything to their children.  This is a difficult situation for everyone involved.  

School helps children grow.  Besides academic learning, children need to develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, emotional skills, social skills in addition to academic skills.  All of these skills are developed over time while interacting with other people their own age under the guidance of professionals.  

Parents are now struggling with not only providing for their children, they're also struggling to teach their children as well, with no compensation, as teachers struggle to help everyone online.  Distance learning is difficult under the best circumstances.  

The Senior Center of Rainier helped our young parents host an outdoor Halloween Parade.  We had "Halloween In Quarantine" coloring and pumpkin carving contests, as well as a parade.  Over 200 kids got treats, while social distancing with their parents in the parade.  You can see pictures of the parade in the Nisqually Valley News on their November 5, 2020 edition.  Look at

The Kids Christmas Store was cancelled in Yelm, by the Yelm Lions and Rainier Booster Club couldn't host their store because of the school closure, so the Senior Center partnered with the Rainier Chapel and held a Kids Christmas Store on Friday, December 4, 2020 from 4 - 7 PM.  Children and parents wore masks and practiced social distancing.  All gifts were under $10.00.  Many local businesses came with special gifts for children to buy for their friends and family.  Free gift wrapping was provided by Trish & Bruce from Rossi Boots.  

The Rainier Quilting Guild made special, patchwork Christmas Stockings.  The Senior Center of Rainier filled the stockings and Santa came by ambulance, gave out the stockings to the kids.  We gave out all 80 stockings as well as a few extras.  Santa and the kids glanced elbows.

Tonight We Love Rainier WA, a local grassroots civic organization, hosted a "Lantern Walk" for our kids and their families.  It started at around 5:30 behind the Chevron Station and everyone walked to Wilkowski Park.  This is where there were treats, beverages and  a small fire pit where kids could burn their notes about things they didn't like about 2020 as well as hopes and dreams for 2021.  Rachele Stephenson's video of the 2020 Lantern Walk.

As County Commissioner Gary Edwards says "Kids may be 30% of our population, but they are 100% of our future".  

 Wishing everyone a wonderful & prosperous 2021!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

2020 Updates & Roof Fundraising

 Dear Seniors and Friends,

This has been a difficult year for many people in our area.  With the schools being closed, this has been particularily hard for students and their parents, so We Love Rainier WA is hosting a "Lantern Walk" on New Year's Eve.  You can read more about it on their Facebook page: We Love Rainier WA .

We have a couple of fundraisers to help earn money for a new roof and gutters.

1. "Pepper Jelly" that's made by Cindy Amidon.  We have a few jars left at $7.00 each. 

2.  Pie sale.  Pies range in price from $8.00 - $12.00

  •   15 - 8" Apple pies  $8.00
      7 - 8" Strawberry Rhubarb pies  $8.00
      8 - 9" Strawberry Rhubarb pies  $9.00
      3 - 8" Cherry pies  $8.00
      3 - 8" Peach pies  $8.00
      2 - 8" Guava pies $8.00
      1 - 9" Mixed Berry $9.00
      4 - 9" Apple Pie  $9.00

    We have the following pies for $12.00

    1 - 9" Pumpkin Pie
    2 - 9" Pecan Pies
  • 5 - 9" Dutch Apple pies  $8.00

Due to grant funds we've received, we now have almost $15,000 in our building fund towards a new roof.  I have written and sent out donation request letters and another grant for our roof.  The cost of a new roof is in the mid $40,000 range.  The cost for gutters runs between $4,000 - $6,000.  We'really appreciate everyone's donation & support towards getting a new roof!

We just received a grant of $5,000 this week for a natural gas generator with an auto transfer switch.  We had Ron Gibson, from Rainier Public Works, research and recommend a generator for our center.  We now have 5 freezers, a commercial 2-door fridge and a side-by-side fridge.  In an emergency, we could loose all of our food, so an emergency generator is important to have in the event of a power outtage.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Donations needed for a new roof

 The Senior Center of Rainier desperately needs a new roof and gutters.  We have the original 1911 cedar shake roof with skip sheeting, which is covered by 2 layers of composition roofing.

We've been fundraising since we reopened October 5th after the COVID-19 "Stay Safe, Stay Home" order Governor Inslee proclaimed last March.  This put quite a damper in our fundraising abilities.

Even though we were closed, we were still able to provide food to our seniors in need through the Farm to Families and 10 Weeks of Summer food distribution program.  We also provided reading materials and other items needed by members of our local community.

The bids for a new roof are $40,000, plus another $4,000 - $5,000 for gutters.  Our roof leaked so badly that some of our ceiling tiles are bent in the dining room.

A copy of our donation letter is below.  We appreciate any help given to the Senior Center of Rainier as we work to get funding for a new roof.  Thank you.