Banner Olive Branch Senior Center commemorates 25 years of serving the West Valley and celebrates the grand opening of Operation American Patriot Friday at 11250 N. 107th Ave. in Sun City.
Coordinator Nicole Reither said the free event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature opening remarks from Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. There will be information booths, health screenings, food and entertainment provided by Take 4 Jazz and the Sun City Stomperz.
Operation American Patriot is a volunteer-run, nonprofit advocacy group headquartered in Arizona that assists military personnel, veterans and their families, by partnering with local and regional businesses to offer assistance in housing, finance, jobs, clinical, chaplaincy and mentoring. OAP’s mission is to fortify existing services, not to replace them, and to act as advocates when appropriate, officials said.
Banner Olive Branch Senior Center offers 25 programs and support services, including a home-delivered meals program, daily congregate lunches, health and wellness classes, a Senior Employment Placement Program and a pantry program. The center also provides Medicare benefits checkups and houses a satellite office for the Arizona attorney general.
“The 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Banner Olive Branch Senior Center is so important because it really gives us an opportunity to honor all that the community and our supporters have done to help this center thrive,” said Ivy Glinski, Banner Olive Branch senior manager.
According to Jen Fenter, public relations specialist of Banner Health, the Olive Branch center fed thousands through its services in 2013, but most importantly the organization has changed many lives.
Fenter gave the example of a woman named Melissa, who had been referred to the center by her neighbor. The social services coordinator at Olive Branch found Melissa in her home, which was in the process of foreclosure, with no food, money, electricity, gas, water, nor working vehicle. Melissa had lost 46 pounds and was suicidal and desperate.
With the assistance of community agencies such as OAP, the center helped Melissa get back on her feet. Fenter said. The organization provided her with a food box, free cellphone service, vehicle repair, employment, affordable housing and a plan for self-sufficiency. Fenter added that Melissa is now a volunteer at the center.
“BOBSC is the miracle in her life.”