MARSING - It's a cafe with a cause. The Sandbar in Marsing is a place where you can go and enjoy a meal while giving back to local senior citizens.
The senior center in the area took over ownership of the restaurant and all the proceeds go to help support programs for seniors.
"The original senior center was couple blocks up the street and it had been around since 1952 and it was struggling," said Pete Smit, Board Chair of Marsing Senior Citizens INC.
The senior center was struggling to find ways to fund programs-- like meals on wheels -- so they had to get creative.
Smit said they needed to find something people and senior citizens in the community would want to be involved in.
"Seniors didn't want to be off segregated by themselves," he said. "They wanted to be with everybody else like normal. Just because you turn 60 doesn't mean you've got one foot in the grave."
So they decided to re-open the Sandbar, which had been closed for some time, to make money to fund those programs - in place of having a traditional senior center.
"I think there's a need for things like this in our community," Sharon Van Wassenhove who was enjoying lunch with her family said. "People love a place where they can enjoy food and see friends and people they know."
"We kept it as the Sandbar. We added some new things. The wine and beer bar and then lots of other functions and services for our seniors," Smit said. "We still do our Meals on Wheels, home health care which is a new service we just added, transportation, in house meals for people who just can't afford it."
While it took the place as the Marsing senior center, those in charge see the Sandbar as a community center.
"We have families and young and old and all different kids of people that are involved," Smit said.
If you're interested in contributing, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the cause.
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