Questions Answered and Funding Approved

November was an exceptionally busy month at the BA Senior Center.

Did you know that we now offer more than 65 activities a week? With the added classes that will be unveiled in January and an increasing array of seminars and workshops, that number will be close to 75 activities a week.

Even if math is not your forte, that’s easy enough to figure out – if, like me, you use a calculator. How about 15 activities a day?

With all this activity, there are a few important news items I need to share.

Questions answered. I’ve held impromptu Q&A sessions in several programs and common areas the last few weeks. One session lasted an hour, and each person’s questions were answered. In addition, a program request was made and the equipment needed to enhance their activity was delivered within a week. My team wants to answer questions. The only way we can do that is if people are willing to let us know what questions exist.

Come in to our offices – the doors are open, and we are happy to share what’s going on. If there are concerns, we will listen. If there are requests, we will be attentive and let you know what we can or cannot do. And if we need to find the answer, we’ll follow up with you. If you want to have Q&As be a part of your class or activity, we are available to come to you.

Funding approved. We received much-needed funding to replace the outdated and nonfunctional tables in the Center. We’ve heard from members time and time again that our tables are heavy and difficult to move. We don’t have a team of people to set up rooms, so most of the time we rely on our members to create the spaces they need for the activities they have scheduled. We listened and now we will fulfill your request. The tables will be rectangles, squares and circles. They will be lightweight, collapsible, storable and ADA-compliant. Our goal was to get tables that are much easier to move, set up and take down. We will also have carts to transport tables to different parts of the building.

More funding approved. If anyone has been to the Center on a rainy day and used the front entrance, you might be confused. That’s because when you are under the awning, you get as wet as you do out in the open. Just look up on a sunny day, and you’ll see so many holes that it looks like the ceiling of a planetarium. Those days will be over soon since we received funding to replace the awning. We will schedule the replacement as soon as possible.

Thank you. The Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG) is the funding entity that is making a nearly $24,000 investment in our Center for new tables and a new awning. We also owe thanks to the city of Broken Arrow, which invested in a new roof for the Center – which was badly needed and is much appreciated. The truly amazing thing is that the new roof went up over our nearly 20,000-square foot building in only two days. That’s impressive.

New open carry law. Safety is our No. 1 concern at the BA Senior Center. In response to the open carry law that went into effect Nov. 1, we want to remind members that the BA Senior Center is a city building, and firearms are not permitted on the premises. Please review the following Oklahoma statute regarding carrying a firearm.

Section 1277 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statute:

A. It shall be unlawful for any person, including a person in possession of a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, to carry any concealed or unconcealed handgun into any of the following places: any structure, building or office space which is owned or leased by a city, town, county, state or federal authority for the purpose of conducting business with the public.

Transit. The city of Broken Arrow and Tulsa Transit Authority have launched a Broken Arrow Transit Study. The final report will provide stakeholders, policymakers and the community with a realistic plan to enhance public transit in Broken Arrow and meet the needs of our residents. As a proponent of the transportation needs of older adults, I was asked to join the advisory group. The BA Senior Center’s members will have an opportunity to have significant input in the study.

My team wishes you all the best during the upcoming holiday season. We are thankful to have the opportunity to serve you throughout the year. Our goal each day is to make a difference in people’s lives. Thank you for being a part of making that possible.