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Feud With Junior League May Kill Senior Center


Earlier this year, the center put the house on Monument up for sale hoping proceeds would go toward relocating to a new facility in the West End with ample parking and bus service. But because of the feud over a "reverter" clause in the deed — if sold, the property would revert back to the Junior League — it was quickly taken off the market. Now the center says it's backed up against a wall: It must have immediate cash to move and to continue operating or it will close for good the end of June.

In mid-April, the center slashed hours on Monument from five days to two days a week. Regular programming continues at its Chesterfield County facility at Huguenot and Robious roads.

The Senior Center has launched a last-ditch, letter-writing campaign to members of the Junior League, hoping they will rebuff their own board's position. League members are slated to vote on the matter May 24. The center is also holding a fund-raiser June 25 at the Science Museum of Virginia and is seeking corporate benefactors, says Melissa Crocker, the center's acting executive director.

A call to the Junior League's executive director, Jane Helfrich, was not returned by press time. But a missive from the league's board to its members states: "We have maintained a strict 'no comment' policy in regards to Style Weekly all year and continue that policy, believing that it is not in our organization's best interest to discuss internal affairs publicly." What's more, the Junior League's board launched it's own letter-writing campaign debunking what it calls "inaccuracies" in the Senior Center's letter.

Last month, Ian Nimmo, president of the Senior Center's board of directors, and the league's Helfrich told Style that the two groups were committed to a mutually beneficial resolution.

The league established the center in 1959 and purchased the land and building at the center's current site in 1967 for nearly $46,000. According to the league, its investments at the site adjusted for inflation amount to $700,000.

But ever since the Senior Center first occupied the site 40 years ago, it has paid for the building's upkeep with maintenance costs and renovations that total $1 million, its board notes. The center's board also maintains it understood from the league that it would control proceeds should the facility ever be sold. S

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