Senior Chatter

Senior Center fundraiser to benefit dialysis ride program

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 million adults across the United States suffer from chronic kidney disease, with millions of others at risk. Most suffering from kidney disease require dialysis treatments, which are not currently available in the Lovell community.

For about 20 years, the North Big Horn Senior Citizens Center has been providing rides to Cody up to three times a week for residents requiring dialysis through its Med-A-Van program. To date, the van has transported 36 clients more than 280,000 miles to receive their treatments in Cody. 

Patti Carpenter photo
North Big Horn Senior Citizens Center Director Denise Andersen (left) accepts a beautiful tureen set donated by senior center member Jim Szlemko (right) that will be raffled off in April, with all proceeds supporting the Center’s Med-A-Van ride service to Cody for local dialysis patients.

The ride program is available to patients of all ages with chronic kidney disease. The only requirement is that the patient is able to get in and out of the Center’s van with minimal assistance.

A fundraising raffle to support the program is currently in progress. Each raffle ticket brings an opportunity to win one of six prizes including a quilt rack and beautiful crazy quilt made by the late Verna Hawkins (her last one made) and individual garden, kitchen and spa baskets. Also on the list of prizes is a beautiful French made tureen set, a Hartwig crystal box and a set of Kobycia carved Ukrainian Easter eggs donated by center member Jim Szlemko.

Szlemko said he decided to donate the valuable collectibles to a worthy cause. The items were once given to him by his late wife Alana Tillett Szlemko. Each item has a unique story of its own, tracing its path from the country of origin to Alaska to Lovell. Be sure to ask him about that next time you see him.

Photos of all of the items are viewable on the Center’s Facebook page. Tickets are available at the center for $1 apiece or 6 tickets for $5. The drawing will be held on April 5, 2019.

In addition to the Med-A-Van ride service, the Center offers many other free or low cost services to the community, including rides to local appointments, low cost lunches weekdays at noon, meal delivery to shut-ins, durable medical equipment on loan, many social activities like cards, quilting and other crafts, information about Social Security, Medicare and other services available to seniors and assistance with filling out applications. For more information call 307-548-6556.

By Patti Carpenter