Legislators award an additional $5,000 to county senior centers

Pictured from left, Renona Seibert, Annettte Rowell (Geraldine Senior Center), Becky Nordgren, Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, Sharon Culpepper (Ider Senior Center), Emmitt Davis, Sen. Steve Livingston, Ricky Harcrow, Jean Read (Fort Payne Senior Center), Ginny Shaver and Rhonda Miller (Rainsville Senior Center) with the check of $3,755 for the purchase of defibrillator (also pictured). 

The partnership between the Top of Alabama Regional Council on Governments (TARCOG), DeKalb County Commission and Alabama’s Mountains, Rivers & Valleys RC&D Council were praised on Monday as members of each entity and DeKalb County’s legislative delegations met.

Alabama’s Mountains, Rivers & Valleys RC&D Council recently sponsored $3,755 for the purchase of defibrillators for DeKalb County's senior centers.

Joining the host of representatives were State House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter [R-Rainsville], State Sen. Steve Livingston [R-Scottsboro], Representatives Ginny Shaver and Becky Nordgren.

The group praised the cooperation for the different organizations and their efforts towards the senior centers' betterment.

WaterWorks Center for Environmental Education Program Manager Renona Seibert addressed the group, expressing how proud RC&D was to sponsor a grant with TARCOG to place defibrillators in counties across north Alabama, including DeKalb County.

Noopie Cosby, with The Cosby Company, a public affairs agency, said the announcement was important because it brought three distinct organizations together.

Seibert thanked the DeKalb County Commission, who matched the grant that allowed defibrillators to be placed in almost all senior centers in the county and TARCOG representatives.

Sara James of TARCOG said there are two sides to their entity, the Economic Development Regional Planning Agency side of which she is the director of and the Area Agency on Aging in which Emmitt Davis is fully immersed in.

“I’ve been proud to be able to participate in this event with the defibrillators. As a nutrition component, we do audits on all of our senior centers, and it’s so important to have a defibrillator in each center to help ensure the safety and well-being of all our participants,” said Davis.

Davis praised DeKalb County Council on Aging Director Emily McCamy for all the work she does, stating she does a wonderful job in the area.

“We appreciate all the people that help operate the senior centers. I don’t have the vocabulary to express what these operations mean to us,” said DeKalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow.

He said their collaborations and their work with the legislators made their efforts a success and he appreciates it.

Regarding the senior centers, Livingston said it'd been a tough time since March of this year for all, but particularly hard on the senior centers.

“Thank y'all for what you do,” he said.

Echoing his remarks, Ledbetter, Shaver and Nordgren noted the cooperation between the agencies and their efforts to provide services to its citizens.

“We are just happy to be a part of that. To help you any way we can and are happy to support you,” Shaver said.

During their visit to the DeKalb County Council on Aging, Ledbetter said the legislatures had a small discussion regarding the seniors centers and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them.

“We know that the units that have been brought into DeKalb County can save lives and we appreciate that. It’s a great thing, but we also know that these times have been hard,” he said.

Following Ledbetter, Shaver announced they decided to award another $5,000 from their community service grant money to the senior centers.

“Thank you for what you do and we are always available,” said Ledbetter.

The group also took the time to congratulate Nordgren on her recent win as the new revenue commissioner of Etowah County.

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