The Parkside Community Center is in need of vendors for its second annual Junk in the Trunk fundraiser which will help provide lunches for seniors at the center, according to Executive Director Kathleen Clement.
The money raised through the fundraiser will help pay for the raw food costs.
“Raw food is everything that you can eat,” Clement said. “It’s for food that we put on the table.”
Food costs Parkside about $40,000 per year and is the facility’s largest cost. The facility does receive a subsidy from the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging.
“Now, we also count on people that are coming here to eat to put money in the bucket. Some do, some do not. We rely on their donations,” she said.
This year, the fundraiser is particularly important because the senior center was not one of the recipients of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Senior Community Center Grants — totaling $2 million in funding from the Pennsylvania Lottery, said Clement.
“No senior center in Clearfield County received a grant,” said Clement. “That’s why we are trying to fundraise.” The closest center to DuBois to receive grant money recently was the Rimersburg Senior Center in Clarion County, which received $39,380, according to Gov. Tom Wolf’s website. Mount Jewett Senior Center in McKean County received $77,307. The majority of the grants were received by senior centers in the eastern part of the state.
Several years ago, Parkside received a $47,000 grant, which was used for building improvements both inside and outside the center.
Clement said she was extremely disappointed that Parkside was not on the list of recipients. When she questioned the decision, she said she was told that the center’s “score” was not high enough, but wasn’t sure what that means.
Parkside offers a convenient location just outside of downtown DuBois at 120 W. Park Ave. It is a newly renovated center with a full kitchen, a billiards room and large dining room. It provides for seniors throughout the week including lunch Monday through Friday and breakfast on Thursdays.
The Junk in the Trunk sale will be held Saturday, Aug. 31, Labor Day weekend, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of Parkside. The cost is $15 per parking space and $20 per indoor table. Spaces are limited and will be allotted on a first come, first served basis.
“People can sell whatever they want to sell,” said Clement. Last year, there were people who sold jewelry, toys or anything you might see at a yard sale.
“It went well last year. People have been calling us to see if we would consider having another one,” said Clement. “We rent out the facility for showers and receptions. This is the one weekend we are not rented and we thought Labor Day would be a good time to have it.”
“We’re asking the community to support the center in this Junk in the Trunk. By supporting the vendors who are coming, the community is supporting the center,” said Clement.
Another way the center tries to raise money for raw food costs is through the monthly Takeout Tuesday lunches.
Since 2017, Parkside has offered lunches, made by Parkside chef Donny Thomas, to the public at a cost of $6 per lunch.
The meals, all from scratch and fresh, have been a huge success, said Clement.
“I have to say thank you, it’s only a success because the DuBois people have purchased the meals. They’re fabulous meals,” Clement said.
The take out meals, which range from stuffed pork chops or chicken breasts to stuffed peppers, are popular with local dentist and doctor offices, Clement said.
“The seniors love them. The seniors, though, can come here and eat it and it’s only going to be a donation of $3.50,” said Clement. “So, they really should come in and sit and eat it for half price.”
Parkside will deliver to a location if there are at least 20 orders, she said.
The next Takeout Tuesday will be Tuesday, July 16, and will feature stuffed pork chops. Those interested in reserving a lunch can call the center by Friday. Call or email by Friday to reserve at: 814-371-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.