Cassville Senior Center gets new admin

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Activities, resources not just for seniors


A new face and smile can now be seen at the Cassville Senior Center in Cassville.

Melissa Speagle, originally from Anderson, took over duties as administrator of the center in October. Speagle, who is excited about her new role, lives in Crane and has a background working as a practice administrator.

"I was looking for an opportunity in Cassville, and when this came available, I jumped on the chance," she said.

Speagle, who is always smiling, said one of the benefits she hopes to bring to the center is an upbeat, positive spirit, along with an increased, full calendar of activities, some of which are already starting.

"We're planning on having a lot of activities going on," she said. "We have coffee in the mornings, books to read, puzzles and lots of things to do. We've already started bingo on Tuesdays beginning Nov. 17, and dominos on Fridays. We'll also have bridge, foot care, nail care, a paint class Nov. 19 and a Cookie Bake Nov. 18."

The center will host speakers periodically on various topics, and is offering Medicare counseling, health care enrollment assistance and tax preparation services. Speagle said she is open to talking with anyone who would like to teach or lead a class.

Part of Speagle's vision for the center is to fashion it after Shell Knob's senior center, which is known for its busy calendar of events and community outreach.

"We want to partner with the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob and build off their ideas." she said. "We have the capability of being like them because of our people base."

Speagle wants residents in the community to know that anyone is welcome to participate in the center's activities, whether they're a senior, or not, including partaking in home-made, affordable meals, activities and access to a variety of resources.

"So many have a misconception about what we do," Speagle said. "People may think it's only for seniors, but it's open for anyone of any age. We have lunch Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and anyone can come eat with us. It's only a suggested donation of $3.50 for lunch if a senior 60 or over, and a suggested donation of $6 if not (but we're not picky about price) and includes a meal, dessert and drink."

Guests will find meals satisfying, as the center's cook of five years, Becky McKnight, who won first place in the Chili and Salsa Cook-off, knows a thing or two about cooking. Seniors and area residents are also invited to the center's annual Thanksgiving dinner, which will be held Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Suggested donation for the meal is $3.50, no matter age.

She said the center is third in serving the most meals, at almost 4,000 meals per month. Only the south Springfield senior center and Aurora center beats their record.

"Those include meals in-house and delivered," Speagle said.

Speagle also wants the community to know the center is a place to find resources for whoever needs them.

"Our desire is to have this building accessed for information as an outreach to anyone who needs help, not just seniors," Speagle said. "We have a book of resources people can go to for different needs. It lists non-profits and resources for everything from caregivers, skilled nursing, housing, transportation, disaster help, veterans benefits and health and wellness. It's great we can offer people more outreach help. If we can't help them, we might be able to lead them to someone who can help."

When not working at the center, Speagle said she is crazy about horses.

"I like to ride every chance I get," she said.

She has horses herself, likes horse decor, and hopes to offer some rehabilitation-type-riding next summer.

"I'm hoping to do something for kids in the community later, this summer," she said.

For more information on activities, services, meals, resources, or teaching a class at the center, people may call Speagle at 417-847-4510, 417-847-0131, or visit the center at 1111 Fair St. in Cassville, which is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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