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Local News

July 31, 2013

Douglass Eastside gets van up and running again

DUNCAN — For more than a year, Douglass Eastside Senior Center’s van has been sitting idle and needing repairs.

After a couple of community donations, that is no longer the case as the van started its route up again Monday. Now, those who don’t have a ride to the center and whose health makes it impossible to walk there can get there quickly and safely.

“It’s been a long time in coming,” said Shirley King, Douglass director. “We have been blessed.”

The fifteen-passenger van was given to the Douglass Center about three years ago by the Duncan Senior Citizens Center. However, because of the costly needed replacement of a battery and tires, it wasn’t able to run for long.

“It didn’t take long after we started talking to people about (the needed parts) that people offered to help out,” said King.

One of those interested in getting the van up and running was Randy Montgomery of Montgomery Tire & Alignment. He was contacted by United Way of Stephens County, of which Douglass is an agency, and offered to donate tires.

O’Reilly Auto Parts also got into the spirit and donated a the much-needed battery. After a couple of other minor repairs, the van was good to go Monday morning, driven by Coy Fugett.

“He gets paid for two hours of his driving time but donates the rest of his time,” said King. “You don’t find a lot of people to volunteer their time to drive like that.”

Not only does Fugett go by each day at about 9:30 a.m. to pick up any seniors who have signed up for the service, but said he will take them to do errands on their way home.

“A lot of people need to get their prescriptions or groceries,” said King. “We also hope to have some outings soon so everyone can get out and do something different.”

Though the major repairs have been taken care of, maintenance and the gas it takes to pick up and drop off everyone will take even more funds. King said they have put in grant applications but don’t know the results yet.

“We want to keep this going now that we have the van back,” she said. “We’ll still have our fundraisers but need donations as well.”

If you would like to be signed up to ride the van to Douglass and be taken back home, call the center at 580-255-9579 or Fugett at 580-736-8934 before 7 p.m.

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