Rowan County Council
Rowan County Council on Aging was originally founded in December 1971 to create
a mechanism to advocate for various community initiatives important to local
Members of the Council
consisted of representatives from the various senior clubs and organizations
throughout Rowan County as well as other individuals
interested in older adult issues. Addie Rhem Morris, for whom the large multipurpose room at Rufty-Holmes
is named, was the Charter President of the Council on Aging. She molded and directed the organization with
a strong hand to advocate for a home delivered meals program, a department of
county government devoted to aging, and a senior center in our community.
As a result of
the COA’s work, the Rowan County Meals on Wheels organization was established as
a non-profit United Way Agency, and continues today to serve homebound older
and disabled adults in need of a daily nutritious meal. With continued advocacy, the Council was
instrumental in seeing Rowan
County establish the
Office on Aging as a department of county government in 1981. The department continues to operate today as
the Rowan County Senior Services Department.
With strong encouragement from the Council, the Rowan County Board of
Commissioners appointed a Task Force to study the issue of developing a senior
center in the mid-1980’s. With a
positive recommendation from the Task Force, the Council supported a new
non-profit initiative to plan, fund and build a new senior center in Rowan
County that exists today as Rufty-Holmes Senior
Center. The Rowan County Senior Services
Department was moved to the new Center upon its opening in January 1988.
Over the years,
as organizational goals were fulfilled and leadership changed, the Council on
Aging lost focus and eventually dissolved in 1988. Rufty-Holmes Senior
Center brought representatives
from various senior organizations in the community together annually for the
Presidents’ Day Luncheon, but this event provided only information-sharing, and
Services Department and Rufty-Holmes Senior
Center, as well as other
aging organizations in the community, have advocated for older adult issues,
but there continued to be a lack of organized “lay” involvement in addressing
older adult needs except for a local delegate to the NC Senior Tar Heel
With the support
of the senior center, the Rowan County Council on Aging was re-activated in
November 2007 with Carolyn Blackman elected as its President. Bob Bruce serves as the current President.
The Council meets at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center
on the fourth Thursday of each month at 1:00pm.
Projects undertaken by the Council since its re-activation include the
sponsorship of “Citizenship Rowan” classes for retirees; the hosting of candidate
forums for the Rowan County Board of Commission and Salisbury City Council;
advocacy on the federal, state and local level; promotion of opportunities for
older adult representation on state & local Boards & Commissions; the
annual sponsorship of “Service to Seniors” Awards; and the development of a
“Senior Friendly Business Certification” program.
the Council is open to any adult interested in older adult issues.