LINCOLN — The new executive director of The Oasis Senior Center wants to increase membership and participation numbers, especially among Logan County residents who live outside Lincoln.
"Oasis is the best-kept secret in the county," Nancy Cunningham told The Pantagraph on Monday, her first day at Oasis. "I want all 16 communities in Logan County to use and enjoy all the resources here."
Oasis, officially Senior Citizens of Logan County Inc., has 1,200 members. But thousands more people use the center services but aren't center members.
Cunningham, 54, of Lincoln is replacing longtime Executive Director Dom Dalpoas, who is retiring at the end of the month. Cunningham and Dalpoas are working together this month as Cunningham transitions into her new role.
"Dom has provided a great foundation and I want to build upon that," Cunningham said.
Oasis, 2810 Woodlawn Road, Lincoln, provides a place for senior activities, games, health screenings, support groups, exercise, programs, socializing and information on senior services. Food is available for anyone who needs it and there is a library, computer lab and outdoor walking track.
Oasis' yearly operating budget is about $300,000. About 20 percent of that is county tax money, grants and United Way funding but the remaining 80 percent is from gifts, gift shop proceeds, fundraising, fees and donations. Expenses are kept down because Oasis relies largely on volunteers.
Cunningham said she has worked for more than 30 years for nonprofits, mostly in the early childhood arena, including for the Child Care Resource and Referral Network at the local, state and national level.
"I was looking for something different to do other than early childhood," Cunningham said. She said several county residents urged her to apply for the executive directorship when news of Dalpoas' retirement became known.