An anonymous donor’s $40,000 gift will stop the planned closure of the Gloversville Senior Citizen Service Center, Executive Director Catherine Mueller said.
The center’s board of directors was to meet Friday morning when two seniors walked up to Mueller and handed her a piece of paper with a name and phone number.
“They said, ‘You need to call this immediately. She has something she wants to tell you,’ ” Mueller said.
The anonymous donor will make an announcement in early July, when the funds are transferred to the senior center.
For several years, the center has been struggling with its financial burdens, including an $88,000 mortgage on the building at 53 Church St. The donation should sustain the center, which costs about $4,500 to $6,000 a month to operate, long enough for board members to come up with a long-term financial plan, Mueller said.
Operational costs include payroll, maintenance, lights and heat, she said. The next thing the board will look at is whether to rehire three staff members laid off when center officials announced last week that the center would have to close at the end of this month, she said. Unless and until they are rehired, it’s just Mueller running the senior center.
The Fulmont Community Action Agency, which leases space in the building, also wants to keep the building open, Mueller said. By fall, it may have to look at its funding again, she said.
“It’s a great start,” she said. “We’re still hoping that the community will continue to support us. This won’t take us for the long haul, but it gives us a better footing to start building up financial resources and finding other programming opportunities to keep the center running.”
Next week, the center will be back to its regular schedule: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Seniors who attend the center learned of the donation at the end of the board meeting Friday. When they heard the news, some cried, Mueller said.
“There were lots of tears,” she said. “They were just so happy to know that they were still going to be able to come to the place that they loved.”