St. Patrick’s Day dinner helps Senior Bus stay in the green


By Catherine Gabe - cgabe@civitasmedia.com



<p style="text-align: right;">Photos by Catherine Gabe | Wellington Enterprise <p style="text-align: left;">Joyce and Ken Klontz enjoy spending time together and helping dispatch for the Senior Bus once a month.

Photos by Catherine Gabe | Wellington Enterprise

Joyce and Ken Klontz enjoy spending time together and helping dispatch for the Senior Bus once a month.


The schedule keeps about 40 people busy dispatching and driving one of two vans for the Senior Bus program.


Joyce Klontz fields a phone call from somone needing a lift from the Senior Bus.


One of two senior buses transport folks around town Monday through Saturday.


Fred Alspach has been driving the senior bus for the past five years.


On St. Patrick’s Day, all the people working with the senior bus program are Irish because that’s the annual corned beef and cabbage fundraiser.

It brings in a hefty portion of money for the program, which relies on grants and private donations. It’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for the senior bus program.

The menu includes corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes and carrots or a reuben. The dinner is put on by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Eagles and will be held from 11 a.m. until the corned beef runs out on Thursday, March 17.

“We are extremely appreciative of them doing that,” said Marla Lent, Office on Aging coordinator, who runs the senior bus program. “It’s a valuable service in the area and a way to ensure the services continue.”

Wellington seniors consider themselves lucky to live in a town with the senior bus program. A quick phone call and they can get rides about town to get prescriptions, groceries, to see a friend, or maybe a visit to the beauty parlor.

Riders pay minmal fees of 50 cents to get a ride around town. Two vans are available. The service averages 4,100 one-way trips annually, said Lent.

Wednesdays are day trips. They’ve taken groups from Amish country to Ashtabula and everywhere in between, Lent said. Day trips are more expensive and include the cost of admission to events and activities, but the bus program works hard to keep costs down.

The program relies on about 40 volunteers who work in the dispatch office or driving one of the two vans. “We like to help others,” said Joyce Klontz who, along with husband, Ken, has worked in the dispatch office once a month since 2004.

“For anybody without transportation it’s a blessing,” said Joyce. “They would miss the service if it were not available,” Ken agreed.

Catherine Gabe can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @ReporterGabe on Twitter.

Photos by Catherine Gabe | Wellington Enterprise

Joyce and Ken Klontz enjoy spending time together and helping dispatch for the Senior Bus once a month.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/03/web1_IMG_1863.jpg

Photos by Catherine Gabe | Wellington Enterprise

Joyce and Ken Klontz enjoy spending time together and helping dispatch for the Senior Bus once a month.

The schedule keeps about 40 people busy dispatching and driving one of two vans for the Senior Bus program.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/03/web1_IMG_1867.jpgThe schedule keeps about 40 people busy dispatching and driving one of two vans for the Senior Bus program.

Joyce Klontz fields a phone call from somone needing a lift from the Senior Bus.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/03/web1_IMG_1871.jpgJoyce Klontz fields a phone call from somone needing a lift from the Senior Bus.

One of two senior buses transport folks around town Monday through Saturday.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/03/web1_IMG_1874.jpgOne of two senior buses transport folks around town Monday through Saturday.

Fred Alspach has been driving the senior bus for the past five years.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2016/03/web1_IMG_1875.jpgFred Alspach has been driving the senior bus for the past five years.

By Catherine Gabe

cgabe@civitasmedia.com

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