Warren County

Warren County Senior Center celebrates 50th anniversary

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 6/3/24

The Warren County Senior Center held a celebration for their 50th anniversary on May 17.

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Warren County

Warren County Senior Center celebrates 50th anniversary


The Warren County Senior Center held a celebration for their 50th anniversary on May 17 to commend the volunteers and supporters that make the center’s programs possible and recognize its impact on the community. 

Executive Director Sheryl Stefanski delivered a speech at the event and  used her time to discuss the history of the Senior Center and honor many of the longtime volunteers in attendance. She also spoke about the center’s need for volunteers, specifically for their Meals on Wheels program. 

The Warren County Council on Aging first opened its doors in 1974 at 105 N East Street in Warrenton. The center then began its Meals on Wheels program, originally called Home Bound Meals according to Stefanski, the following year. 

Her remarks largely focused on the center’s construction and operation of their current building, which was purchased in 1984 after board members decided larger facilities were needed. She also pointed out that the center was able to pay off their loan for that construction well before it was due thanks to the generous donations of two specific individuals. 

She said the $118,000 federal loan was paid off 15 years early in part thanks to a $16,000 donation from Irvin Wagner and two donations from Lloyd Gwaltney that totaled $52,000. 

Stefanski made sure to take time to recognize any current or former volunteers and board members who were in attendance. The center’s reliance on volunteers was made apparent as more than half of those in attendance stood to be recognized at one point or another. 

“Currently we operate with two full-time employees and two part-time employees. However it would not be possible to continue what we are doing without our wonderful volunteers,” Stefanksi said. 

She continued saying that while the center still operates delivering meals and providing programming for the elderly here in Warren County, their need has never been higher. 

According to Stefanski, in the financial year 2024 they have been serving an average of 274 congregate meals monthly, along with delivering 1,229 meals to those who are unable to receive them at the center. 

As funding continues to be an issue, Stefanski said that for the first time in the center’s history, they have a waitlist for Meals on Wheels. 

“It seems like funding has and will always continue to be an issue for our non-profit agency,” Stefanski said. “We currently are nowhere near fully funded by the state.”

Unfortunately, unless the center is able to find additional funding, the waitlist will continue. 

In closing, Stefanski again thanked all those in attendance who had taken time or money to contribute to the center, saying without them, it would not be able to provide the services it does. 

“Although times have certainly changed in the last 50 years, some of the issues and struggles remain the same,” Stefanski said. “I hope we can continue to persevere, finding new and alternative methods of funding, so we can continue to serve the senior population of Warren County for the next 50 years!”

Senior Center, Anniversary