Bowling for Seniors had its largest turnout ever this year.
More than 160 bowlers helped raise funds for Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services June 24, showing huge support for seniors in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties.
Lola Walker, volunteer and aging services manager for RRCS, said that all money raised by the fundraiser goes toward aging services.
“Every year we do satisfaction surveys, these folks tell us how important the senior centers are to them,” Walker said. “Not only do they get nutritious meals and great programming, but they get to meet friends and stay social in the community.”
Ray Parks, director of aging and transportation services for RRCS, said that the bowling fundraiser is essential to generating funds for the five county senior program.s
“It is absolutely vital, we provide as many services as we can,” Parks said. “In order to make our budget we rely on fundraising for all of our programs. What this does is contribute toward local funds that goes into our services.”
Parks said that about half of the funds for aging services come from state and federal funds. The rest of the money is raised through fees, grants and fundraising.
“To have the local resources to keep these programs going, takes a lot of fundraising,” Parks said. “This is a big part of that.”
The event also honored the many volunteers who help with seniors in the community.
“A big part of what we do is supporting our volunteer base,” Parks said. “Without which we wouldn’t be able to provide these services either. And a lot of our volunteers are seniors, that get the benefit of the meaningful engagement of the work they do.”
Parks also recognized the churches, local government and local nonprofits that help contribute to the senior programs.
“Each of our senior centers in the five counties are the focal point of our services,” Parks said. “We do offer a lot more services than the senior centers, but that is the face of RRCS for aging services. The relationships they built and the contacts they have, they get great support.”
Gladys Williams, director of the Culpeper Senior Center, is the face of the Culpeper organization. She gushed about the response the annual bowling event had this year.
“It’s one of the most important days of our lives,” Williams said. “This way seniors get to see with their own eyes what the community comes together to do for them. Sometimes they get the idea that now that they’re getting older, they can’t give back and we’re really not important. This let’s them know they are really important.”
Members of the Culpeper Town Police Department helped MC the event and interacted with the seniors.
“It’s great to show them that there is still stuff out here we can do,” Master Police Officer Mike Grant said. “The community supports them and the police department supports them. The seniors are a wealth of information. The more we can give back, the better off we are.”