News from Orcas Senior Center

  • Mon Jan 4th, 2021 1:30am
  • Life
Contributed photo
Tom Eversole.

Contributed photo Tom Eversole.

Submitted by The Orcas Senior Center.

Welcome Tom Eversole

The Orcas Senior Center non-profit welcomes Tom Eversole as the newest member of the Orcas District Committee, the operating committee of the center. Many of you will remember Tom from his time as Hearts and Hands Coordinator, or as the man inside the Cedric the Centipede costume.

Tom comes from a lifelong career in public health and community service. When asked what drew Tom to the center, he responded “even before moving to Orcas Island, I asked myself ‘How can I continue to serve?’ Coming to the center intending to sign up to deliver Meals on Wheels, the next thing I knew, I was coordinating Hearts and Hands!”

He continued, “Hearts and Hands gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet people, learn about the island, and make new friends. It gave me an avenue to more fully appreciate the needs of seniors—which includes me, and appreciate the challenges I will face as I age on an island and how difficult it might be to get the services I need. It was an educational opportunity I hadn’t anticipated. Meeting so many vibrant, strong, creative people, and the life stories that they shared with me, was such a gift.”

There were many turns on the road from public health professional to Cedric the Centipede and now to the ODC. One of the most noteworthy was when Tom accidentally mooned the opening night audience of the musical “Annie Get Your Gun” at the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center. Tom explained: “The musical opens with an acrobatic carnival scene. I was standing in for the lead dancer. His costume had leggings; mine had only a loincloth. As a young woman flipped over my back, some part of her costume caught in the braid of my wig, which then tangled in my loincloth. When I turned around, I found myself mooning the audience. It was a great showstopper on opening night!”

Two Hundred: The Magic Number in 2020

Once again, the Orcas community has risen to the challenge! Thanks to you, the Orcas Senior Center non-profit has not only reached, but has exceeded, our annual fundraising goal of $50,000. Even more than the money raised, we are touched by the broad support this represents, as it comes from more than 200 different, individual donors. This level of community support means the center can now handle more months of maintaining a pandemic level of vital services, from Buddy Check-In to Meals on Wheels, and more.

We are equally touched by the number of volunteers who stepped forward this year to help in so many ways. There are more than 200 of you, as well! Many have been Buddy volunteers, making sure that no senior needs to feel totally isolated while protecting their health. Others have done everything from stamping envelopes to creating unique pandemic events like Take-Out with Christina; from helping maintain our landscaping to helping to make and sell Maggie’s Masks.

It will still be a long winter with some challenging months ahead, but with several vaccines on the horizon, we can begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you Orcas Island for helping the Senior Center continue to make sure we get through that tunnel together. You make us both Orcas Strong and Orcas Proud.