Adult center houses a variety of services

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of stories on the Kathryn Heidenreich Adult Center.

KINGMAN ­ In 1972, officials with the city of Kingman and Mohave County came together and built the Kathryn Heidenreich Adult Center on land owned by the county on Airway Avenue.

The center now has four distinct entities ­ the Heidenreich Center, Chat-N-Chow, Foundation for Senior Living and Sarah's House. They will be explained in more detail in the next installment of this series.

Debera Daugherty is director of recreational programs at the Heidenreich Center. She has two part-time assistants with salaries of all three personnel funded by the Kingman Parks & Recreation Department.

"We provide activities and supervision for the center," said Parks and Recreation Department Director Darel Fruhwirth.

While many people refer to it as a senior center, it is an adult center for anyone 21 years of age or over, Daugherty said.

"The majority of our clientele is seniors," she said. "We offer them activities as well as resource and referral information.

"There's also companionship as seniors meet and greet one another and we try to do as much outreach as we can."

Center funding largely is through donations, gifts, endowments and small fees for activities. There also is some outside funding from church meetings held on the premises, as well as for rental of rooms by different clubs and organizations.

Daugherty said occasional "carryover" money is received from the Western Arizona Council for Government's Area Agency on Aging.

Kingman Mayor Les Byram was asked if the center adequately meets the needs of seniors.

"Some people have called in the two months I've been in office and expressed some dissatisfaction, primarily with transportation and their ability to get there for lunches offered," Byram said. "There was some busing cut back."

The center houses the Kingman Nutrition Site, where the Chat-N-Chow program is operated.

A new busing schedule was worked out Wednesday during a meeting of the Old Timers' Chat-N-Chow Site Council and a story about it appeared in Thursday's Daily Miner.

Leilani Exbom, president of the center's board of directors, was contacted.

"We're always open for suggestions from individuals and organizations wishing to meet at the center or expand it," Exbom said.

"When it comes to serving Kingman and the area we stand out in our field. We work closely with other agencies such as Adult Protective Services, Foundation for Senior Living and animal rights people."

The biggest challenge for the Kathryn Heidenreich Adult Center is to make the community aware of how many services are offered and how varied they are, Exbom said.

The center not only serves seniors but also has programs such as line dancing and exercise classes enjoyed by people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, she said.

"We're always interested in endowments to keep the center going," Exbom said. "Money is always a concern because we must rely on donations, grants and the generosity of others.

"As the city grows, we may need a larger facility in time."