A place to go with stuff to do in Carbondale | PostIndependent.com

A place to go with stuff to do in Carbondale

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Pete Fowler Post Independent

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Virginia Sterrett started talking about seniors on the radio airwaves and it turns out someone was listening.

“Somebody told me to get a life, and I’m three quarters of a century old, so I got a little radio show in Carbondale,” Sterrett joked. “It wasn’t very long ’til somebody from the Town Council in Carbondale called and asked me if we’d be interested in helping put together a senior center.”

A character through and through, Sterrett says she goes by “gina,” with a little “g.”

Carbondale struck a deal to acquire the old Carbondale Elementary School building from the school district. The town offered a spot in the school for a senior center to Senior Matters. Senior Matters is the name of Sterrett’s radio show, which started almost two years ago and is also an organization promoting independent healthy living for seniors and the development of a senior center. The group is working on obtaining nonprofit status.

The town’s offer came as good news and things seemed to quickly gain momentum.

“With that, it just kind of mushroomed to a great big blast,” Sterrett said. “I gathered extremely good people from everywhere and put together a board of directors.”

Sterrett, the chairwoman, said there’s currently about 15 people on the Senior Matters board. The group held an end-of-summer fundraiser last year and plans to hold another this year.

The group needs money to put in everything a senior center needs ” a kitchen, an exercise room, games and other things. The latest fundraising effort they’ve done is selling snowcones, Grandma’s Cookies and other concessions at the Carbondale Rodeo each Thursday.

Rusty Burtard, a Senior Matters board member, said on Friday, “We go out there every Thursday night, and we did so well last night that I’m kind of high about it ” we made about $400.”

Burtard can often be found staying busy at the Carbondale Community Garden.

She knows it’s important for seniors to find good things to spend their time on, and she says a senior center would do just that for seniors around Carbondale.

“I think it’d be a wonderful asset because people, you know, they won’t realize their full potential because they don’t realize the opportunities are there,” she said. “I think it’s a healthier way of life to keep busy. You avoid loneliness ” self-pity.”

Burtard coordinates volunteers and said she’s looking for more to help run the concession stand at the Carbondale Rodeo.

“We have nine more weeks to go and we definitely need people,” she said.

Sterrett said the building is still being renovated but could be ready early next year. She said it will be important with large amounts of seniors retiring and living longer.

And cheap meals could be a hit with rising costs of living.

“My income doesn’t go up,” she said. “But every time you go out to get a glass of iced tea, it sure does go up doesn’t it?”

Sterrett said a senior center in Carbondale would be like a home away from home for seniors.

“Our lives would be more enriched I think, and people would have more to look forward to,” Burtard said. “I know it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen.”

Sterrett said people can tune in to KDNK to hear the Senior Matters radio program at 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Contact her at 963-2650 to donate or volunteer.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121


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