A trip to Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids
The Forks Senior Center (FSC) was established in 2005 as a charitable nonprofit corporation through the combined efforts of dedicated volunteers and community partners. The First United Methodist Church on the campus of Albion College provided two large community rooms to help launch the senior center. Set-up equipment was donated by local businesses and the community.
From 2008 to 2014 the Forks Senior Center operated from the Crowell School, owned and managed by the Albion Public Schools at 1418 Cooper Street in Albion, Michigan. Many changes took place at Crowell School in 2012, as it transitioned into a thriving community center. The FSC shared the building with the Albion Senior Meal Program and Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP). Over time, the Board of Directors realized that a larger facility was needed to accomodate the growing programs of the senior center.
After months of planning, the Forks Senior Center moved to a new location in early December 2014. The move to the Calhoun County Human Services Building located at 101 N. Albion St. (view map) allows for expansion with additional space and the security of a long-term lease. The Forks Senior Center continues to grow in services and provides outreach opportunities on behalf of senior services for residents of eastern and central Calhoun County.
Dedicated volunteers are the driving force behind the success of the FSC. Since 2005, the FSC has grown from 50 to nearly 350 members, with an average of 100 combined programs or activities every month with a reputation as a dependable resource within Calhoun County for senior services. The Board of Directors, represented by 11 community leaders, guides the organization with an administrative staff responsible for daily operations and development. Five fitness instructors provide contracted services for an impressive health & wellness program.
Forks Senior Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation promotes the mission to improve and maintain the physical, mental, and social well-being of the area’s senior citizens which include greater Albion area, Homer, Springport, Marshall, and surrounding townships. Membership includes full use of the fitness center with access to a broad range of programs, trips, and social activities. Programs are open to the public to promote Senior Services within Calhoun County. For more information call (517) 629-3842.
Why The Name?
Many wonder why the name is “the Forks Senior Center”? The word “Forks” signifies the confluence of the two branches of the Kalamazoo River in Albion, specifically in the area known as Rieger Park. Albionites are proud of this fact and the word “Forks” is often used as part of the name of many things in Albion. For example, Albion has an annual festival known as the Festival of the Forks!
Today the same spirit of volunteerism is alive and well at the Forks Senior Center. The FSC operates out of the Calhoun County Human Services Building on the corner of Albion Street and Cass Street in Albion (view map). Since the FSC was first established 14 years ago, the organization has grown to nearly 350 members who support the Center through their membership and volunteerism. Throughout the year, close to 90 volunteers donate their time and expertise; many volunteering on a regular weekly basis. The FSC now employs one full-time director, a part-time office manager, and a part-time support person. A volunteer Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program Specialist provides year round appointments to help individuals with Medicare and Medicaid forms. The Board of Directors is comprised of 12 community leaders and professionals that guide the organization and provide governance.
Grants Provide Growth
FSC funding comes from combined sources of membership fees, contributions, and from grants funded through the generosity of many local foundations and agencies including Calhoun County Senior Millage, CareWell Services Southwest (formerly the Region 3B Area Agency on Aging), City of Albion Recreation Millage, the Albion Community Foundation, Community Foundation Alliance of Calhoun County, Battle Creek Community Foundation, Albion-Homer United Way, the Delmar and Audria M. Olson Family Foundation, and the Firekeepers Revenue Sharing Board in Calhoun County. Through the support of communities and the membership, programs and collaborative initiatives continue to expand.
The Forks Senior Center operates a vibrant program in a spacious and convenient location at 101 N. Albion St. Yearly membership dues are modest and include full use of the Fitness Center. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. More information is available on membership and the program by contacting the office staff.