Seniors Rejoice At Reopening Of Washington County Day Center

Wednesday, July 25th 2012, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

Some of Oklahoma's Own have come to the rescue of an adult day center in Washington County.

Marguerite Johnson loves to paint. Her main place to do it is at the Washington County Adult Center in Dewey.

We first met Marguerite last November when the adult center was on the brink of closing.

"I'm concerned. I don't think anything will take its place," said Marguerite Johnson.

Now it's eight months later, and Marguerite's fears have been wiped away.

The adult center runs entirely off donations with no government help whatsoever. Last year donations had dried up, and the center closed.

But it didn't take long for the generosity of Oklahomans to step forward.

"We're happy we're still here," said 92-year-old Marguerite Johnson.

One of those leading the way was 95-year-old Lee Stone. The World War II veteran had been to the center a number of times.

"It's a place where I can come and get some exercise," he said.

So Stone opened his wallet and donated $1000.

"This place was a mess," he said. "It was a dirty mess, and I gave them a thousand dollars to pay somebody to come in and clean it up."

11/16/2011 Related Story: Washington County Adult Center Closing Will Leave Seniors At A Loss

The new leadership here says this reopening would have never been possible without the donations of people like Mr. Stone or businesses such as the Lyons Foundation, WalMart, or Phillips 66.

"It's an Oklahoma thing," said Mike Cobb of the Washington County Adult Center.

Mike Cobb is now president of the all volunteer board that runs the center. He says the way it's been able to bounce back is a testament to the people of Washington County, and something other non-profits can look to as inspiration.

"I think that our example is that people care," he said.

Marguerite Johnson is thrilled with the new look at the adult center; it even features pictures of Washington County's past.

She wants everyone who donated money to keep it open to know the seniors here appreciate every bit of help.

"I think it's amazing that so many have volunteered and given their time," she said.

The center serves more than 400 seniors a day who live in Washington and Osage County.