Senior Services plans fundraisers

COVINGTON - Newton County Senior Services is preparing for two fall fundraisers and asking the community to pitch in so it can continue to provide programs for local seniors.

Participants and sponsors are being sought for the Second Annual Ms. Senior Newton County Pageant to be held at 5 p.m. Oct. 11, at Olive Swann Porter Memorial Auditorium at Newton High School.

Participants in the pageant will pay a $25 registration fee, but that's not enough to cover expenses.

Last year, local businesses donated services and goods so that all money raised could go toward funding Senior Services programs, and organizers are hoping for the same results this year.

"The sky's the limit for the senior pageant. We're trying to raise money so we can continue our programs here," said Activities Coordinator Freda Reed.

Senior Services provides programs ranging from art classes to computer courses to interior decorating classes. State and federal money the nonprofit organization receives is used for its meal delivery program and to pay operation costs. The organization depends upon donations to fund its specialized programs.

"We realize everybody's hurting, but as a nonprofit agency, this is the only way we survive," Reed said. "The only way we live is through the generosity of others."

Sponsorships for the pageant are available at the diamond level for $500; the pearl level for $250; and the ruby level for $100. Anyone making a donation of less than $100 will be considered a supporter.

Diamond, pearl and ruby sponsors will be recognized and have special seating at the pageant and their names will be included in a souvenir booklet.

Ads for the booklet are also available for purchase, ranging in price from $10 to $100.

There are 10 slots for competitors, with only three remaining, Reed said.

"It's not all about our raising money for the Senior Center. We want people in Newton County to see older ladies still are vivacious and spontaneous," she said.

This year Senior Services will also hold its fifth Grandparent Fest and Senior Expo from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 31, at the Turner Lake Complex, located at 6183 Turner Lake Road.

Vendors and exhibitors typically provide information on health issues, nutrition and other subjects relevant to senior life.

There's also entertainment provided, and grandparents are invited to bring their grandchildren who will play games outside while the adults enjoy the expo.

Vendors must pay a $30 registration fee. Nonprofit organizations can participate for free, but must provide give-away items such as pens, key chains, etc.

Sponsorships are also being accepted in any amount, with the money again going toward senior programming.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the pageant or the expo should make checks payable to Newton County Senior Services Inc. with the notation Ms. Senior Newton County Pageant or Grandparent Fest and Senior Expo 2008. Checks should be mailed to Newton County Senior Services Inc., P.O. Box 466, Covington, GA, 30015.

The deadline for vendor registration and donations to the expo is Sept. 30.

In other news, local musician Ron Lovin will hold a concert at the Senior Center in the Turner Lake Complex at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4. Proceeds will help pay for Christmas activities for the seniors. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door or prior to the event.

For more information on any of these events, call 770-787-0038.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum