The state Department of Aging on June 24 awarded a $76,847 grant to the Center at Spring Street, Boyertown, to buy a new air-conditioning system.
“We are so happy to receive the grant,” said Charlene Wysocki, grants administrator for Boyertown Area Multi-Service Inc. a nonprofit providing services for seniors. “The seniors like to get out of the heat and into the air conditioning.”
Wysocki said the agency applied for the grant in November to replace the aging air conditioning in the 15-year-old building at 200 W. Spring St.
The seniors have not been doing any activities at the center since March due to the coronavirus.
However, she said, the center is providing 150 grab-and-go lunches daily on weekdays.
Wysocki said the center does not plan to reopen on June 26, when the county moves to the green phase of Gov. Tom Wolf's reopening plan.
She said the center is working with the county to ensure all proper protocols are in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus before reopening.
“We want to make sure we are doing everything the right way before we reopen,” she said.
The Boyertown center was one of 60 community centers throughout the state to receive a total of $2 million in grants funded through the Pennsylvania Lottery.
“Senior community centers play an immense role for older Pennsylvanians by assisting them with aging in place,” Wolf said in a release. “The grants will empower these centers to make their desired changes to further benefit regular attendees while attracting a new generation of participants.”
Aging Secretary Robert Torres said as the country returns to a sense of normalcy, older Pennsylvanians may be eager to return to their local senior community centers for the activities they enjoyed prior to the stay-at-home orders.
There are more than 500 senior community centers throughout Pennsylvania that provide a variety of offerings, such as nutritious meals, educational opportunities, transportation services, financial and insurance counseling and exercise programs.