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Mendon Seniors Enjoying a New Ride

From L to R: Selectman Michael Goddard, Senior Center Director Amy Wilson Kent, Selectman Mike Ammendolia, Senator Richard Moore, and State Rep. John Fernandes stand in front of Mendon's new Senior Center van.





It's been a long road but Mendon seniors are finally enjoying the perks of the Senior Center's new transportation van. The van actually arrived in Mendon during the last week of March, however, on the evening of April 3, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Senior Center with members of the Council on Aging, Friends of Mendon Elders, Board of Selectmen, and Senator Richard Moore, D. Uxbridge, and State Rep. John Fernandes D. Milford, in attendance.

During the ceremony, Senior Center Director Amy Wilson Kent stated there were a number of individuals and groups responsible for acquiring the van including the Friends group, whose members raised the necessary 20 percent of the van's costs after a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation was awarded covering 80 percent of the van's $57,689 total.

In addition, Wilson Kent thanked the Council on Aging, the Board of Selectmen, Senator Moore, State Rep. Fernandes, and the Transportation Advisory Committee. She also acknowledged the many memorial donations received in honor of Mendon residents including Clarence Phipps, Janet Phipps Briggs, Bill Butler, Roland Carlson, Shirley Kreson, Linwood Howell, Phil Taylor, Al Whilshire, and Judy Langford. She also thanked local organizations and businesses for their support including the Lions Club, Charles River Bank, Dean Bank, and Milford National Bank. She also recognized local businessman Eric Peterson who purchased chrome wheels for the van. "So many people worked for this," said Wilson Kent. "The seniors are very excited."

The 13 passenger van, which can accommodate up to four wheelchairs, is available to Mendon residents aged 60 and over as well as to residents with disabilities for medical appointments, errands, rides to and from the Senior Center, and shopping trips. The cost for a round trip in Mendon is $1 and out of town rides are $4. Individuals can purchase van passes or "Vanbucks" for a $10 donation to the Friends of the Mendon Elders. "They'll make great gifts for birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day," said Wilson Kent. Another thought is to purchase passes for someone in financial need.

After Wilson Kent spoke, Marty Fletcher, President of the Friends of Mendon Elders, and members of the group, cut a blue ribbon on the door of the van as everyone clapped. Those in attendance were then invited into the Senior Center for refreshments.

Kevin Rudden, a member of the Transportation Advisory Committee, stated how pleased he was that so many Mendon residents, organizations, and businesses came together to make sure the van came to fruition."That's the spirit of Mendon," he said.




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