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Meeting the Needs of Seniors and Our Community

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Just a few words about a man and a Foundation who helped us become...

William N. Pennington Life Center

written by Lisa Erquiaga, WNP Life Center Executive Director, an excerpt from past CCSC newsletter

A new building, new name and a new beginning...

I want to share a little information with all of you about a wonderful man and his foundation that are responsible for the opportunity to make our transformation from Churchill County Senior Center to the William N. Pennington Life Center.


Under the direction of the current Pennington Foundation Trustees, in conjunction with the Coalition for Senior Citizens, Churchill County and City of Fallon, we have been afforded this opportunity of a new building to serve our senior population and the community. The majority of the funding has come from the Pennington Foundation.


The William N. Pennington Foundation was formed in 1989 with his ever strong sense of purpose and commitment to nonprofit charities and the people of Nevada. The legacy of William N. Pennington and the continued work of his fabulous foundation will live on for many years to come.


He had a love of community and health services for children and the elderly, medical research, and a desire to help people and families get through difficult times. William N. Pennington will always be remembered as a successful entrepreneur who was one of Nevada’s leading philanthropists and gaming pioneer. Mr. Pennington passed away on May 15, 2011.


Thank you, Mr. Pennington and the current Foundation Trustees for making this opportunity become a reality. We will never be able to thank the Foundation enough for this great building. Our community will be forever grateful.”

About the Coalition for Senior Citizens

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The Churchill County Senior Center was established in 1974 in Fallon, Nevada by the Soroptimist International Club of Fallon.  The building was formerly a church and was built in 1940. The Soroptimist Club rented it and assumed sponsorship of the Meals on Wheels program.


With hard work and perseverance, they eventually purchased, renovated, and enlarged the structure through community fundraising and obtaining state and federal grants. Articles of Incorporation to establish the Coalition Board for Senior Citizens were filed in 1991 with the State of Nevada becoming a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit corporation.


About the William N. Pennington Life Center/Coalition for Senior Citizens

The groundbreaking for the new construction of The William N. Pennington Life Center was in March 2016. Construction began in May 2016 and was completed and served its first meal on June 19, 2017.

This project was a joint partnership of efforts between Churchill County, City of Fallon, and Coalition for Senior Citizens, (the governing board of the Senior Center), and the William N. Pennington Foundation to see this $5-million creation become a reality on historic Maine Street in Fallon, Nevada next to the museum. And then being christened as "The William N. Pennington Life Center" for our many seniors and entire community to embark on an "intergenerational" journey.


The William N. Pennington Life Center is just shy of 16,000-square feet. Our facility has a large dining room with an accessible stage and sound system; brand new kitchen facilities with appliances to support our meal programs; a wellness center offering a varieity of educational components and services; multipurpose room for meetings, luncheons, workshops; Wi-Fi and computer support throughout the entire building; adequate administration and conference rooms to oversee vital Nevada Care Connection Resource Center program; and a beauty shop (walk-ins welcome).

Support Services and Programs

The purpose of a senior center, and the programs within, is to provide support services and programs to allow seniors to remain in their homes and with their family and friends, as long as possible, avoiding costly long-term care facility admissions. This project has broad-based community support from Churchill County, the City of Fallon, and the community. These organizations are committed to the ongoing operations, programming, and future facility maintenance and repairs of this facility.


Our programs include the Meals on Wheels Nutrition Program, which not only provides a nutritious meal 5 days a week, but also a critical daily visit and connection to outside world from a friendly face. In the past year, we have served over 70,989 meals in both our congregate dining room and deliveries daily to 200 homebound seniors.


We also provide frozen meals during weekends and emergency shelf stable meal kit for our homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities.


The homemaker program currently serves 67 individuals, and we provide over 360 hours per month of critical assistance with activities of daily living, house cleaning, and shopping.  

Bridging the Gap Between Young and Old Generations

"Multigenerational/Intergenerational Programs" are the future

We feel strongly about intergenerational "multigenerational" programs and have built the new center that will welcome people from all generations. This will benefit the community at large, especially our seniors. Studies show that active adults aged 55 and older involved with intergenerational programs remain in better health both physically and mentally and live longer than their non-involved counterparts.


As we have transitioned from our the 80-year-old building that we have occupied for over 40 years, we look forward to greater opportunities to serve and to build our new legacy as a Life Center! 

Benefits of an Intergenerational Program

An intergenerational program is a social vehicle that offers the young and older generations opportunities to interact and become involved in their community.


This concept has evolved to include every one of us, of multiple ages, and to address a wide variety of social issues and concerns, such as family structure, literacy, health, crime prevention, violence, drug use, environmental issues, cultural differences, and dispelling myths and stereotypes about the aging process. This encourages tolerance and understanding.


The intergenerational program setting allows opportunities to enhance social skills, experience positive interactions on a regular basis, build relationships that promote civic attitudes and desirable behaviors including volunteering habits, sense of worth and trust.


Everyone in the community will benefit. Americans who are 65 and over volunteer an average of 96 hours per year. They prove to be extremely reliable and committed to their volunteer responsibilities. They want to do something meaningful and fulfilling, not just filling of their time. Through volunteerism, they are able to develop positive self-esteem.


Combining our emerging child and youth population with the wealth of knowledge, traditions, and years of wisdom of our older population can only prove to be beneficial to all involved. Interaction with youth develops social networking, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and teaches positive attitudes towards aging and gives both groups a greater sense of purpose and community service.


The benefits to our older population are many. Studies show that active adults, aged 55 and older, who are involved with intergenerational programs and volunteering remain in better health both physically and mentally and live longer than their non-involved counterparts. Currently, 59% of people over age 55 volunteer in their communities and if retired, choose to use their time to be active and civically involved.


On the other hand, studies show that children and youth that interact with older adults in a co-located facility or shared site of intergenerational programs experience higher personal and social development after 11 months compared to children in non-generational facilities. Youth involved with these successful program mentoring opportunities have decreased negative behavior are 52% less likely to begin smoking, 27% less to use alcohol, and 52% less to skip school. 

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