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The Ellinwood Heritage Center and the Commission on Aging are long time partners of RSVP. The Ellinwood Heritage Senior Center was first conceived in 1981 by a group of concerned citizens of Ellinwood. Around that same time, the Bosse family decided they had no use for the building at 103 Main Street and donated the building for this use. Community donations of cash, building materials, and lots of hard work ensured a complete renovation of the building as well as the addition of a large kitchen area and a wheelchair ramp. In 1983, the center opened for use by the community for meetings of local organizations, family gatherings, or whatever was needed. The Heritage Center is a tax exempt organization that continues to operate with a grant from the United Way and donations from the people that use the facility. Currently, the center hosts an exercise class, a quilting club, two potluck lunches a month as well as being open for card or game players every weekday from 11 – 4.
The center also provides a free location for the Ellinwood Commission on Aging to offer Friendship Meals, Meals on Wheels service and to operate the Ellinwood Mini-Bus. The Ellinwood Commission on Aging was the brainchild of Pat Schartz, who served as president of the commission from its beginning in 1990 until his untimely death in 2011. The Commission is currently looking for a male 60 or older to replace Mr. Schartz on the board; please call Marilyn Sauber for more information. The Commission on Aging provides a hot, nutritious meal five days a week for a requested donation of $3; Marilyn Fryendall is coordinates Friendship Meals and Meals on Wheels. I enjoyed a really delicious meal there recently; you can’t beat the price and the companionship! The Ellinwood bus provides transportation for Ellinwood residents for a small fare. The bus was purchased with a grant from KDOT and matching funds raised from local donations; it operates almost entirely on the fares collected from passengers. Volunteer dispatchers and drivers keep this valuable resource for Ellinwood going. Marilyn Sauber coordinates the transportation program. Both Marilyns agreed that more volunteers are needed to continue the services provided by the Commission on Aging. If you have a few hours to give the Ellinwood Commission on Aging, contact 620-564-3649.
RSVP’s newest partner is Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. Monica Legleiter is the regional representative for our area and is seeking volunteers for an Outreach Volunteer position. The Outreach Volunteer position is a great chance to inspire girls in grades K through 6 who are underserved in our community to reach their leadership potential. Training will be provided and activities will be planned for you to deliver to the girls at Riley Elementary. Sessions are held each Thursday from 3:05—4:05. Call Monica at 888-811-8832 for more information on this meaningful volunteer opportunity.
Math lovers are needed to tutor high school students at Great Bend High School. If you are good with math and would like to help students understand basic Algebra concepts, contact Gui Burley at 793-1521.
Do you have carpenter or wood-working skills? RSVP occasionally gets requests from Barton County residents that need a wheel-chair ramp built. Currently we have access to lumber supplies but need a few volunteers willing to assist our experienced ramp builder with projects like this. Call Donna at 792-1614 if you can help. 
Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at RSVP!
Donna Baugh can be reached at 620-792-1614 or RSVP of Central Kansas is sponsored by Barton Community College.