Charlotte Mecklenburg Senior Centers exceed campaign goal

Charlotte Mecklenburg Senior Centers will be able to avoid making more cuts to its programs for seniors thanks in part to a $25,000 donation from the Philip L. Van Every Foundation.

Trena Palmer, head of the Senior Centers, says the Every Foundation grant helped the nonprofit exceed its campaign goal by $18,000, for a total of $68,000. Other donors included the Leon Levine Foundation and the Time Warner Cable Employees Committee.

Senior Centers officials launched the drive to cover a funding shortfall for the fiscal year that would have resulted in reductions and elimination of programs for seniors, including health initiatives.

The United Way agency has faced reduced local and federal funding the past two years, while seeing its operation expenses rise, officials said. Previous cost cutting included eliminating some exercise and health classes, and the closing of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

Last year, more than 3,000 seniors participated in Senior Centers programs, which is more than a 300 percent increase over 2007, officials said.

Community response to the campaign included gifts from neighborhood associations, church groups and alumni associations.