Restoring the daily lives of seniors
By Angela Rogalski, The Bolivar Bullet
Shannre McKellop is founder and president of the Rosedale Senior Friend Coalition, which she explains is a nonprofit organization that was established in December 2021.
“We are people who came together to review, revise and restore the daily lives of our senior citizens locally and in surrounding communities with wellness, fitness, activities and entertainment,” said McKellop. “I want to say a big thank you to our local churches for opening their doors and allowing us to hold bingo, Christian trivia, our banquets; just whatever we’re doing for our seniors within the different church’s walls. They have been a tremendous help to us. We also have a park that allows us to take our seniors there. And of course, this is all free for our seniors.”
McKellop said there are about 30 people in the group consisting of board members, stakeholders and just regular members who are all volunteers and they pay a nominal membership fee.
“I thank each and every one of our members and stakeholders for their great work. We are getting ready to launch another initiative membership, which will be for our seniors,” she said. “If they want to become a lifetime member of Rosedale Senior Friend Coalition, we will have a very small yearly fee associated with it. This way we can have some sort of number if we want to do a banquet or give gift bags for the holidays or anything like that. It will help us know what we need when it comes to numbers. The board is considering it now.”
McKellop is a Rosedale native, but lived on Nantucket Island for 26 years where she worked with seniors there as well.
“We kept them motivated in their everyday lives as well as active,” she said. “And, when I moved back to Rosedale during the pandemic, I realized I could help our seniors around here too. But, we needed to reach out to people and find out what they needed. I had a vision and I saw there was a great need. I hosted a 70th birthday extravaganza dinner for my aunt in December 2021 and there was such a great turnout, things just began to fall into place. I asked everyone who came to the party, what if we formed a group to help out our local seniors, and everyone was onboard with it and wanted to join. So, that’s how it started.”
McKellop said right now they hold Bingo every Thursday with a different sponsor opening their doors for the event.
“The local churches have been so great to host us,” she said. “I just can’t stress that enough. Our group also meets once a month on Monday evening at one of the churches. I also want to thank James White, whom everyone calls Coach. He teaches driver’s education classes and is retired from East Side High School. He ran a free defensive driver’s Ed class for our seniors. And he did an amazing job. We had so many participants that it was a huge success. He conducted the defensive driver’s class at the Rosedale Public Library for anyone ages 14 to 100. He will hold his second one for us during the week of August 14.”