Kenai City Council members on behalf of the city accept check for $50,000 from Kenai Senior Connection Inc. during a council meeting on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai City Council members on behalf of the city accept check for $50,000 from Kenai Senior Connection Inc. during a council meeting on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai seniors donate funds to city

The senior center’s fundraising group presented a check to the Kenai City Council on Wednesday

Kenai City Council members accepted a $50,000 check from Kenai Senior Connections, the fundraising organization for the Kenai Senior Center, during their meeting on Wednesday. The money is the group’s annual contribution to the City of Kenai’s budget and comes from fundraising events throughout the year.

Kenai Senior Connections President Velda Geller thanked council members for attending this year’s March for Meals fundraiser, through which Geller said they raised $7,800 from the event’s dessert and pie auction. The annual event helps provide scholarship meals for Kenai area seniors.

Geller told council members Wednesday that the event is a “blessing” to her and that all of the work that goes into the event is worth it. Kenai Senior Center Director Kathy Romain wrote in a monthly report last month that the senior center this year has already delivered more than 2,300 meals to 111 individuals. That’s compared to 2,800 meals to 129 individuals last year.

“This March for Meals fundraiser is very important,” Geller said. “It is a lot of work, it’s very tiring. We put several months and lots of overtime in it but when it’s over with, we can look back and think ‘This is what we have done for our older people.”

Kenai Senior Connection is the fundraising organization for the Kenai Senior Center, per the group’s Facebook page. The $50,000 check, Geller said, is the Kenai Senior Connections’ annual contribution to the city’s budget for the Kenai Senior Center.

Council member Glenese Pettey was one of multiple council members who thanked Geller for her report and for the group’s financial contribution to the center.

“It is generous to have this $50,000 in our budget,” Pettey said. “Thank you so very much and thank you to every individual who contributed, who planned, who came and who joined and who are still contributing. It really helps our community and our senior citizens and that is awesome.”

Council member Henry Knackstedt also thanked Geller and called the Kenai Senior Connections group “absolutely tireless” in their fundraising efforts.

“It was an awful lot of work, I’m sure, putting this all together,” Knackstedt said. “There’s a lot of details, a lot of people are doing things and you were directing the show and it was not unnoticed by me. Thank you very much for everything.”

The theme for next year’s March for Meals event, Geller said, will be themed after the Kentucky Derby and will be held on March 31, 2023.

The Kenai City Council’s Wednesday meeting can be viewed on the city’s YouTube channel.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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