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Senior center needs new roof

Group seeking $60K for project

POLO – The Polo Senior Center needs $60,000 for a new roof – the sooner, the better.

Recent storms damaged the roof on the historic building at 101 E. Mason St.

“The more rain we get, the more damage we get,” Barbara Burke, the center’s director, said Wednesday. “There is probably structural damage to the building because the water is coming down through the walls. We’ve patched it and patched it. We don’t have the money for a new roof.”

The center emptied three buckets of water on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday – after every day’s storms.

In the breaks between recent storms, the center has had a contractor do more patchwork, but officials don’t know how much longer the roof can hold out.

The center is preparing to launch a major fundraising campaign. Burke has visited the Ogle County Courthouse to get the names and addresses of registered voters in the Polo area, so the center can ask residents for donations.

“We will make a plea to everyone,” Burke said.

The center, meanwhile, is axing spending. It plans to end its cable service, cut back on extermination services and reduce electricity use by shutting off the air conditioner more often, Burke said.

The center, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is seeing 8,000 visitors a year.

“We host Lifescape meals (delivered meals) and monthly membership meals,” Burke said in a news release. “In our health and wellness programs, we offer a variety of exercise classes, blood pressure management and therapy massage.”

Such social activities, she said, can prevent seniors from becoming isolated.

The center is not limited to seniors. Its community activities include the annual Kid’s Christmas Shopping Day, Farmers Market meals, a monthly afternoon movie and a weekly cinnamon rolls social.

To help

To contribute to the Polo Area Senior Center's roof fund, send donations to PASS Roof Fund at First State Bank of Polo, Blackhawk Area Credit Union in Polo or the center.

All contributions to the nonprofit organization are tax-deductible.

Call the center's director, Barbara Burke, at 815-946-3818 for more information.

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