50 Plus schedules Fund the Fun event

The Best Times Digital Edition

August 19, 2021

By Michelle Alexander

It started as a small group of 200 older adults that referred to themselves as the Olathe Satisfied Seniors and has developed into a well-known countywide outlet for older adults to stay connected and engaged in their community.

Thanks to those future-focused individuals in 1971, advocating the importance of providing recreation services to the more seasoned adults, grant monies were secured under Title III of the Older Americans Act to establish the Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) Senior Adult Program. Once the grant funding was spent, the district assumed full financial support of the program in July of 1974.

In the beginning, weekly meetings of the organization consisted of entertainment, socialization, cards and games, which are still offered today. After a few location changes due to continued growth, the program became known as the Olathe Senior Center. As the first multi-purpose center in Johnson County, the center was designated a community focal point by the Johnson County Aging Department.

JCPRD and Johnson County Aging Services continue a strong partnership today with a purpose of serving older adults. Building and maintaining relationships with other local city government agencies and community organizations has also helped JCPRD’s 50 Plus Department grow and maintain its popular services.

50 Plus staff and programs can still be seen today at Overland Park’s Matt Ross Community Center and Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, the Roeland Park Community Center, JCPRD’s Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse in Prairie Village and many other district facilities.

Additional city agencies, such as Lenexa, Shawnee, Merriam, Gardner, De Soto and others, have welcomed 50 Plus activities to support older adult citizens within their cities. These spaces and connections allow JCPRD to provide more than 1,000 programs with the participation of approximately 20,000 older adults.

To help support our next 50 years, the 50 Plus Department is launching a fundraising event, Fund the Fun, on Thursday, Nov. 4. Funds raised through the Park and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County will be utilized for scholarships to cover participant program fees, expenses and administrative costs associated with providing additional low-fee and/or no fee programs and more.

Tickets for the fundraising event will be available to the public for purchase beginning Wednesday, Sept. 1, for $50 per person. Heavy appetizers, entertainment and lots of fun are included in the ticket price. Those registered will also have the option to purchase raffle tickets through the foundation for the chance to win prizes such as gift cards and gift baskets.

To learn more about how to support the 50 Plus Department through the 50 Years of 50 Plus Golden Anniversary Event and to Fund the Fun, visit jcprd.com/50plus or call 913-826-3160.