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Help Us Build the Milton CHEER Center

By: 
Ken Bock, MPA, CHEER Deputy Director
Milton CHEER Center

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It’s no secret that Sussex County is the place to be for baby boomers. Generations of retirees and lifelong residents have been swelling Sussex County’s population for decades.  With each generation and each decade, CHEER has been there as a vital part of the community and an essential part of the lives of thousands of mature residents and family members.  With each passing year, the challenges become greater as more and more people join the ranks for our senior citizen populations.

CHEER finds its latest challenge in the Milton area.  As in other areas of the County, the Milton Community now is in need of a little more CHEER. 

After many months of planning, CHEER presented it’s concept for a new CHEER Activity Center for the Milton area to an excited group of current and future CHEER members on April 9th.  The new 6,600 square foot facility, to be located on Route 16 east of Milton, will feature a banquet hall, meeting rooms, a modern commercial kitchen and a fitness center.  This new facility will offer a wide variety of programs, services and activities for mature residents throughout the day and also be available for local community groups and events in evenings and weekends. 

The new CHEER Activity Center in Milton will offer something for everyone including various exercise and aerobics programs, crafts and clubs, social and cultural events, meals, trips, fun and good times.  “We expect the CHEER Activity Center to be a hub for services and activities for Milton’s senior population while at the same time providing a meeting place resource for the Milton Community at large” said CHEER Executive Director Arlene Littleton. 

Milton CHEER Center“As our community and service population grows, we need to be there” said Littleton.  For decades CHEER served the Milton area from leased space in a Community Action building.  When that building was no longer available CHEER found itself having to move into 2 different leased spaces within a 3 year period.   

CHEER is grateful to the Eagles Nest Church for leasing space for the current CHEER facility in Milton, however that space is limited.  As a result, CHEER has been unable to offer many of the programs and services available in other CHEER sites throughout the County and many days the center is at capacity.  The planned new facility will allow CHEER to better serve the expanding needs of a growing and more diversified mature population in the Milton area. 

Beyond being able to enhance much needed services in the Milton area, the planned new facility will provide CHEER with opportunities to reduce costs by eliminating the need to pay rent and enabling nutrition meal services to be supported locally as opposed to the current operation which relies on remote support from a kitchen in Georgetown. In addition, the planned new facility can be offered for evening and weekend business and banquet rentals which will generate additional income to help support CHEER services.

Timing is everything and CHEER’s planned timing for this new facility will enable it to avoid significtant site construction costs projected as a result of new regulations which will be taking effect within the next year.  Permits granted to CHEER for this project under current regulations will streamline the design and construction process as long as the project proceeds to completion within the next 20 months.

To help make the CHEER Activity Center in Milton a reality, a Capital Campaign Committee has been formed involving community and business leaders from the Milton area.  That committee is tasked with the challenge of rising $ 1 M to help support the project.  That is less than half of the total amount needed to build, equip and furnish the facility. 

CHEER is pursuing funding from grants and foundations at local, state and national levels for this project.  The land has been purchased and plans are being developed.  With your help now, we can construct this facility in 2014 and have it open and serving the Milton Community in 2015. 

If you would like to help facility a reality by participating on our fundraising committee or making a donation for the construction and furnishing of this facility, please contact Mr. David Tidwell of the CHEER staff at (302) 854-9500.  

And if you would like, you can simply click the donate button on our website to make a contribution.