Friends of Troy Seniors work to fill budget gaps

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 18, 2013

Although more than 500 people currently make up the Friends of Troy Seniors, group volunteer coordinator Bill Rhodes would like to see that number swell to 5,000. 

When the city slashed the Recreation Department staff in half due to budget constraints a couple of years ago, the group was first formed to ensure that seniors could have help filing their income taxes, as the service had been offered at the Troy Community Center for a number of years, said Carla Vaughn, recreation supervisor.

The group is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit that sponsors many programs and events, such as the senior picnic, an ice cream social, monthly birthday parties, luncheons, document shredding and flu shot clinics. The Friends of Troy Seniors is a component of the North Woodward Community Foundation, also a nonprofit group that raises funds for various charitable initiatives in the community.

“The tax aide appointments involved about 500 phone calls,” Vaughn said.

“We try to do a lot of different things,” Rhodes said. “We run the Troy Community Garage Sale.”

He noted that they raised $2,000 from the sale to help fund senior programs.

“We would love to get more members,” Rhodes said. “We could be a louder voice for seniors in Troy.”

“What the group needs now are those willing to work in a leadership capacity,” Rhodes said.

The positions include chairman, event coordinator, event leaders and a Web master.

“It doesn’t have to be a senior, but a mover and shaker in the community that wants to help out with seniors,” Vaughn said.

For information on how to volunteer, call (248) 526-2608 or visit You may also stop in the Friends of Troy Seniors office at the Troy Community Center at 3179 Livernois. For information on programs offered in Troy geared to people older than 50, visit www.troymi. gov. Click on the “Play Here” tab, then on 50 plus programs.