Point Defiance ~ Ruston Senior Center Awarded Grant

seniors sitting in a circle while holding hands

Recently Franke Tobey Jones submitted a grant request on behalf of the Pt. Defiance ~ Ruston Senior Center and are so thankful to have received the wonderful news that our request was approved.  Through Pierce County Human Services and Federal CARES Act, the Senior Center has been awarded $11,000 to cover Covid-19 related expenses including new acrylic shield guards, supplies and cleaning services.  Congrats to Kate Gray, Point Defiance ~ Ruston Senior Center Director, and the Senior Center!

“We are extremely grateful that we were approved,” says Ms. Gray.  “The funds will provide much needed supplies to keep our seniors safe when they return, such as acrylic dividers for the dining tables, individually wrapped sugar, stir sticks, hand sanitizer wipes and more.”

Each year, thousands of program participants enjoy our Senior Center for pinochle, arts, exercise, computer classes, lunch, language classes and more.  They come to see their old friends and make new ones.  Some people come for the trips, while others simply come for coffee and companionship.  You’ll find some (many) here every day and others here for their favorite activities. This is the life that fills the Pt. Defiance~Ruston Senior Center.

Although the Senior Center is physically closed during the pandemic, it still provides lunch to many people every day with a drive through system, is open online and has also offered over 100 exercise, educational and entertainment videos via the Franke Tobey Jones website and the Pt. Defiance~Ruston Senior Center Facebook page that Senior Center participants and the community can enjoy. In July there were more than 2,000 views, including brain games and other items available.

The primary annual funding for the Senior Center comes from donations from Center participants and families, as well as grants from community funders and fundraisers. Franke Tobey Jones also supports approximately a third of the operating budget.  Our donors recognize the value of encouraging a healthy, independent lifestyle for the parents and grandparents of this community— a population that is growing each year.

During this challenging time of COVID-19, it has been especially appreciated to receive additional funds that will help our seniors stay safe.  “Many thanks to Pierce County Human Services for awarding this grant to cover Covid-19 related expenses,” says Shelley Harris, Franke Tobey Jones Director of Philanthropy.  “This was a huge boost to help us purchase necessary safeguards.”

The Point Defiance~Ruston Senior Center, started in 1978 by Catholic Community Services, moved to its  present location in 1991.  In 1998, when Catholic Community  Services announced it could no longer fund the Center, Franke Tobey Jones agreed to take over operations.  Over the years, participation has grown.  In 2019 over 2,500 community members enjoyed senior wellness programs, educational classes, exercise and dance classes and so much more.  Nearly 6,200 on-site nutritious meals were served in 2019 as well. 

Point Defiance ~ Ruston Senior Center Goals:

  • Provide services to support basic nutrition, health care and independent living
  • Provide education to allow seniors to act on their  own behalf
  • Offer activities designed  to improve quality of life  and promote general well-being

If you would like to make a gift to the Point Defiance ~ Ruston Senior Center, please contact Shelley Harris, Director of Philanthropy at 253-756-6297.

Categories: General