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Decades birthday party to raise funds for non-profits

SOLON– Solon resident Pat (Blum) Ikan and her family celebrates birthdays in a big way. This year, the public is invited to the group’s Family Decades Party Saturday, Aug. 9, from 1:30 until 4:30 p.m. at the Solon American Legion, 222 E. Main St. The event is also a fundraiser for three of Ikan’s favorite local nonprofit organizations: Solon Old Gold Diner, Solon Community Food Pantry and Solon Senior Advocates.
The Blum family has several members exactly 10 years apart. In 2014, Ikan turns 70, her brother Larry turns 60, nephew Michael will be 50 and Ikan has nieces and nephews who turn 40, 30, 20 and 10 years old.
“Since I’ve had public parties in the past to celebrate my birthday– for example, in 1999, we had the “Double Nickel” fundraiser for (the late) Megan Connelly when I was 55– I wanted to invite all and also pay it forward by adding the contributions component,” said Ikan.
Ikan has chosen the Advocates, food pantry and Old Gold Dining as her favored local organizations for donations because those Solon groups currently do not hold any annual fund-raising events. All three groups work out of the Solon Methodist Church. The Food Pantry, located in the lower level of the church, was started in 2013. More information can be found at soloniaumc.org/resources/solon-community-food-pantry/.
Solon Old Gold Diner is the current version of senior dining, which has served the community with mid-day meals, social activities, and Meals on Wheels home delivery Monday through Friday. Federal, state and regional funding deficits in 2013 required the program to make changes to its services, and now the program is funded by the City of Solon, Solon Retirement Village, local organizations and private donations, and the food is prepared locally at the Solon Retirement Village and delivered to the church for Old Gold Diner.
Solon Senior Advocates is a resource group for seniors. The Senior Advocates group started the Old Gold Senior Dining sponsorship program in 2006 by engaging local businesses and organizations to sponsor a meal on the second Wednesday of each month. This monthly meal informs the seniors about the sponsors’ roles in the Solon community and also bolsters Old Gold Dining attendance. Solon Senior Advocates also schedules monthly day trips to points of interest in Iowa. Organizers maintain a list of persons willing to help seniors with a variety of tasks, such as household chores.
The entire community is invited to attend the Family Decades Party on Aug. 9, or contributions can be made through checks made payable to each organization, or checks made payable to Ikan, who will follow up with donors about where the donations were sent.