State grants fund fun, fitness at AC Senior Center

Clarification from County Mayor’s Office) “There were two separate grants from TCAD – the first round of grants was for $5,000.00. Anderson County Government, on behalf of our Senior Center, applied for one of those grants in the Fall of 2021. We were awarded a $5,000.00 grant in November 2021. Those funds, per the grant application, were spent for safety handrails for hallways inside the facility and to purchase activities/craft supplies, and senior exercise equipment for our growing activities program.

The Legislature authorized a second round of TCAD grant funds earlier this year – this time, for $8,000.00 grants. We learned about this competitive grant opportunity earlier this summer.

Again, on behalf of the senior center, the Mayor’s office submitted another grant application for this round.

We were notified Wednesday that our Senior Center was awarded one of the $8,000.00 grants.  Funds from this grant award will be used toward capital improvements, particularly energy-efficiency upgrades, at the Senior Center facility.

We may not be able to fund all of these improvements, but we listed the following as allowable activities within the guidelines set by the grant application: replacing windows, weatherizing and repairing exterior doors, cleaning and repairing exterior awnings, and upgrading or replacing fixtures at the 8,800-square-foot facility.

We are immensely grateful for the support of the State Legislature and the Tennessee Commission on Aging & Disability in awarding us these grant funds. We know our seniors are making good use of the exercise equipment and crafts and activities supplies purchased through the first grant. And we’re excited about the potential energy-efficiency upgrades that the second TCAD grant will make possible.

(TCAD press release/staff reports) The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) today announced a total of $1 million in grants to senior centers across the state. In this year’s state budget, the Tennessee General Assembly allocated $1 million for senior centers and tasked TCAD with developing a competitive process to distribute the funds.

On July 5, TCAD published its application process for senior centers. Following the deadline, TCAD received 135 full applications representing 89 of the state’s 95 counties. After utilizing the competitive, objective criteria, 125 senior centers throughout 89 counties were individually awarded $8,000 grants.

According to the senior centers’ applications, the grant funds will pay for operating, administrative, programmatic, and preventive maintenance costs. The funds will also allow many senior centers to accomplish capital projects for the upkeep and operations of their facilities and equipment.

Locally, grants were received by the Anderson County Senior Center, the Roane County Senior Center, the Jellico Senior Center, the Coalfield Senior Center, the Senior Center of Campbell County, the Wartburg Senior Center, and the Sunbright Community Center.

In Anderson County, Office on Aging Director Cherie Phillips says that they have used the first $5000 grant to purchase equipment for their very popular painting class, equipment for their also-popular “Drumming for Fitness” class, which as the name implies involves using a large ball, drumsticks and some “great music” to provide a full-body workout. In addition, funds were used to replace some of the Center’s aging board and other games, as well as to install a “grab bar” in the main hall. The $8000 grant announced this week will be used to make energy efficiency-related upgrades at the Senior Center.

Phillips encourages everyone to stop in at the Senior Center at 96 Mariner Point Drive in Clinton and pick up a calendar. You can also call 865-457-3259, visit the Senior Center’s county-run website, or follow the Office on Aging on Facebook.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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