POCATELLO, Idaho (KXPI) — Their mission is to care for our elderly. Seniors need socialization and a healthy meal. Eyewitness News 3 presenter Todd Kunz let go by the Pocatello Senior Activity Center to see the answer and Pay It Forward. When you enter the building at lunchtime, this is what you will find, friendly faces who eat lunch together every day. It’s a time for socializing and participating in other fun activities. It’s a big crowd that shows up every day of the week.
“We have people who have been experts in almost everything represented here,” said Ernie Naftzger, chairman of the board. It takes a lot of help to serve everyone.
“We really rely on our volunteers,” Naftzger said. Kunz asked him why this place is so important.
“For this age group, they have a lot of needs. One is particularly nutrition. Socialization. Most people who come here find it difficult to get around. They don’t have any social networks other than the center and it’s extremely important for them to have a quality of life is to have that kind of atmosphere,” Naftzger said. He added that the community really rallies around that segment of our local population. The support is overwhelming.
“It’s amazingly good. Our volunteers prove that and it’s also shown by the diversity of funding we receive,” Naftzger said.
It’s time to add to the diversity of funding. It’s time to pay it forward.
“Throughout their lives,” Naftzger began, when a man and two women suddenly entered and interrupted him.
“Hey Ernie,” the man said.
“Every individual is,” Naftzger continued, speaking with Kunz.
“Ernie? Are you Ernie? asked the man.
“I am,” Naftzger replied, turning now to face the man.
“I am Jeremy Kartchner with Credit Union of Mountain America‘ the man said, reaching out to shake hands.
“Oh, hi,” Naftzger said.
“Nice to meet you. Sorry to interrupt the interview,” Kartchner said.
“Oh,” Naftzger replied.
“We’re actually here until today to pay it forward for you,” Kartchner said.
“Wow,” Naftzger replied.
“We love what you do. We so appreciate what you do. So we wanted to donate cash to help pay you to continue making a difference in people’s lives. We have $500 for you.”
“Oh, that’s amazing,” Naftzger said.
“Thank you for all you do,” Kartchner said.
“Thank you,” Naftzger said.
“You’re welcome. We appreciate it. It’s such a wonderful thing you’re doing for these people. Glad to meet you and present this to you,” Kartchner said.
“Well, thank you. I really appreciate it,” Naftzger said.
“Yeah, absolutely. Yeah,” Kartchner said.
“Thank you very much,” Naftzger said.
“You are welcome,” Kartchner said.
“Be careful. Wow,” Naftzger said.
“Hope you were surprised,” Kartchner said.
“I am. Totally. You know, you can tell. I’m shocked,” Naftzger said.
“Fine. I’m sorry to interrupt the interview. I’ll turn it over to Todd,” Kartchner said.
“Oh, he’ll be fine with that. Thank you,” Naftzger said.
“He can wait, can’t he?” Kartchner said.
“Yeah. Whooo!” said Naftzger, raising the money and waving it.
The senior activity center is located at 427 North 6th Avenue in Pocatello, behind the Department of Labor office. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is (208) 233-1212.
The center has been around for about 33 years. They have a lot of seniors so any volunteers would be welcome.
“Pay It Forward” airs the second Wednesday of each month. If you know of a non-profit organization or someone who deserves recognition for their contributions to the region, click on ‘News’ and then on ‘Pay it forward’ under the menu at the top left of our news page. welcome. Complete the submission form or send an email to Todd Kun, anchor of Eyewitness News 3z at [email protected]