When area seniors buy a $2 meal at this year’s Ottawa County Fair, they are investing in the future of the next senior levy on the ballot.
Seniors Day is Wednesday, July 17, at the Ottawa County Fair, which runs July 15-21. Admission is free for seniors that day, as is most of the food and entertainment.
The only cost is the lunchtime meal, sponsored by Walker Family Funeral Home. “There will be 250 meals served and the proceeds go toward the senior levy campaign fund coming up in two years,” said Senior Resources Executive Director Diane Mortensen.
The senior levy helps support Ottawa County Senior Resources in providing a variety of services to nearly 10,000 seniors across the county required by the Older Americans Act.
“We have the largest number of seniors per capita than all of the counties around us. It’s a fourth of the population,” Mortensen said. And the calls for help grow daily as that statistic increases. The services include home-delivered meals, Options for Independence Home Care, DayBreak Adult Day Services and support of the six senior centers located across the county.
The 0.3 mill levy generates about $443,000 a year, according to Ottawa County Commissioner Steve Arndt. It first passed in 2004 as a three-year levy and as a renewal in 2007. Then in 2010, it appeared on the ballot as a five-year levy and passed, he said. It’s up for renewal again in two years.
The levy provides a majority of funding for Senior Resources programs. However, staff works to secure grants to help offset additional costs for program costs, Mortensen said.
The fair’s Senior Day is one of the yearly functions which brings seniors together from across Ottawa County. Friendships are rekindled while local agencies and businesses provide food and services for the seniors’ day out.
The rest of the Senior Day schedule includes:
• Continental breakfast (donuts, juice and coffee) sponsored by Crosser Funeral Home and Magruder Hospital beginning at 9 a.m.
• Health Department services from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (free blood pressure and sugar tests).
• Magruder Hospital speech therapy assistance from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Entertainment by Just Us Two from 10 a.m. to noon. The Toledo duo specializes in 1950s and `60s old time rock and roll music.
• Dave Ninke will provide the lunchtime music at noon.
• After lunch, there will be bingo at 1 p.m. and a 2 p.m. ice cream social sponsored by Riverview Healthcare Campus
Senior Day activities will take place in the air-conditioned building on the fairgrounds located on SR 163 between Oak Harbor and Port Clinton.
“The Senior Fair Board really works with us,” Mortensen said, noting the board approved the free admission for Seniors Day and provides on-site transportation. Golf carts carry seniors from the parking lot to the activities building. And later, the board provides a wagon ride around the fair. “Some of the seniors like to get out and see the sights and taste some of the fair food,” she said.
And of course, Mortensen said there will be plenty of donated water on hand to quench thirst in the mid-July heat.