COA Newsletter: February 2019


Winter 2019

131 West Tyler Street, Suite 1A
Elkhart, Indiana 46516
PH 574.295.1820


Letter from CEO
Welcome New Board Members
Happy Anniversary
Holiday Party 2018
Thank You
Employee Spotlight
Senior Gatherings
In the News
Employment Opportunities
Volunteers Welcome
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With support from our community, we were able to serve a record number of seniors in 2018!  Each of our programs offered support in a different, but necessary way! 

A few stories about the value of our service to the community.
Linda, who was struggling with her 83-year old mother, requested our In-Home Care Services. Within a few weeks our caregiver, Virginia, had her feeling much better. Once again motivated, Linda’s mother was opening the shades to let in the sun, dressed each morning, and began asking for more substantial meals.  Needless to say, Linda was very happy! Our SHIP services (a Medicare counseling service through the State Health Insurance Assistance Program) helped Allen.  Allen is 89 years old and has been diagnosed with an unusual medical condition requiring medication which costs in excess of $1,500 dollars a month.  After talking with a SHIP counselor, the cost of that same medication now costs him $160. A significant benefit to both his health and his wallet!  After experiencing other companies, Kay was dissatisfied and looked to COA for transportation services.  Since then, she has expressed her gratitude for the kind, professional service received from our agency’s office staff and drivers.  She felt blessed and said, “It truly is a ministry the way we are treated” and views the drivers as new friends.

I could share numerous success stories, but for now I will stop with these anecdotes of how seniors and their families are taking advantage of and benefiting from the services we provide.  These are just a few highlights of ways in which we work diligently to improve our senior clients’ lives by taking away some of the stress often experienced by them and their families.

Internally, we have expanded our Board.  Take a moment to read about our newest members in this newsletter edition. They recently developed and approved a strategic plan to address the growing needs of the increasing senior population in our community. 

We have also been fortunate to have collaborated with Ivy Tech, IU South Bend, and Notre Dame through internships and valuable student projects.  All of which enhanced our ability to efficiently and effectively serve our clients’ needs.

And a special thank you to our many supporters who have donated through our Facebook page and our website.  Remember, we are the only agency in the county who has designed all our programs to exclusively meet the needs of seniors and their families.  We know the value these services bring to our clients and we are thankful you make it possible.

David M. Toney, CEO

Welcome New Board Members

Sherm Hansen lives in Elkhart, Indiana. As the Advancement Director for the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County, he focuses on attracting and expanding businesses in this area. Having served on numerous not for profit boards, Mr. Hansen brings with him a variety of valuable experience along with an interest in "assisting our aging populations."

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Melanie Herendeen lives in Michigan with her husband and many four-legged babies. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management from Bethel College as well as a Master of Science degree in Human Resources Development from Villanova University. Melanie has been able to help a diverse population of students set a career path and has enjoyed celebrating students' accomplishments. She is happiest when helping others and says, "I especially enjoy helping older generations to feel valued and appreciated for what they have accomplished and passed on to others."


Frank Lucchese lives in Elkhart, Indiana with his wife, Tonja. His involvement in the community is evident in his roles as both a Co-Owner of Lucchese's Italian Restaurant and his Elkhart County Commissioner position. Frank comes to COA with past and present board experience working with organizations such as Oaklawn, Boys and Girls Club, MACOG, and the Samaritan Center.

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Celesta Vaughan lives in Elkhart, Indiana. As a business owner, retired teacher, and with twenty-five years in the field of healthcare, she comes to the COA board with a wide variety of experience. Having become familar with COA's presence in the community, she noted the organization's positive influence on the senior population. Celesta stated, "I have a passion for senior programs and would consider it an honor to further that as a COA Board Member."

Randall Hesser lives in Goshen with his wife, Mary. As a Partner at the law firm Warrick & Boyn, LLP, he advises businesses regarding corporate and commercial matters such as estate planning, labor relations and employment-related litigation. Additionally, Mr. Hesser writes articles covering an assortment of topics and lectures on those topics to national groups including the National Association of Accountants and the Society for Human Resources Management. He brings with him the experience of having worked with a number of charitable organizations including Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS), Loveway, and Family Services of Elkhart County, just to name a few.

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Bill Templin lives in Elkhart, Indiana, with his wife Sue. He enjoyed many years as the owner of the independent retail music and electronics store, Templin’s, Inc. Most recently, he has worked with the Boy Scouts of America in a fundraising role. Bill’s commitment to the community is evident from his involvement with organizations such as the Elkhart Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County, and Bashor Children’s Home, just to name a few. He looks forward to the opportunity to be a part of the Council on Aging Board and serving our senior clients.

Happy Anniversary

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Happy 43rd Anniversary to Council on Aging of Elkhart County

Lots to celebrate...our 43rd anniversary and Halloween coincided so we made it one big party! Thank you to all of our staff and volunteers who have supported the seniors in our community over the years!

Holiday Party 2018

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Our annual holiday party was a huge success!  Thank you to Pastor John Utley from Radiant Life Church in Elkhart for kicking it off with a blessing and for Major Neese's continued support! I am not sure who had more fun...our seniors or our staff! As always we deeply appreciate the leadership and support of our Board of Directors.


In appreciation for our Volunteers and Local Supporting Organizations


Thank you Liz Fawley with Interra Credit Union Cameron who brought items their members & team members collected during the Christmas holiday and presented us with a check for $750. 
Our Life Enrichment program thanks you for your generosity and will be able to use many of the needed items along with our office.


Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, Acts of Service and Lippert Components Plant 58 for your help to support our seniors with holiday food boxes this year. Your gift of time and smiles were so appreciated!


Centier Bank,  North American Senior Benefits, Eastlake Terrace, Elkhart Place, Greenleaf Health, Courtyard, Valley View Kindred, Brentwood 

BINGO is always a huge hit and we can't thank you enough for
donating lunch/prizes to us!


Special THANK YOU to our sponsors for making our holiday party possible: Riverside Village and Eastlake, Heart to Heart Hospice, Elkhart Place, Golden Living, Valley View, Hubbard Hill, Kem Krest, Martin’s Secret Santa, & Paragon Home Health! We so appreciate you supporting our mission!

Employee Spotlight


Thank you Ruth Blevins Roberts, our Life Enrichment Coordinator, for her fifth year with COA & helping our Senior Clients enjoy their programs each week!

Senior Gatherings


Get together with good company and good conversation every Wednesday and Thursday!  Check our Facebook page link at the end of the newsletter for full details. 

In the News


Our councils CEO, David Toney, stopped by WSBT-TV to tell us about programs and services for Elkhart County seniors and its 43rd Anniversary! 


We are grateful for Ivy Tech Community College internship partnership that was announced late last fall. We are so thankful for Mike Juday and his internship that helped get our office up-to-speed with technology to better serve our seniors.

Employment Opportunities


We have openings for FULL AND PART TIME drivers. If you are interested in knowing the rewards of serving senior citizens in our community, you can apply online at or download the application form to fill out and drop off at 131 W Tyler St Suite 1A, Elkhart (the Train Depot Building)

Volunteers Welcome


 The Council on Aging of Elkhart County is always looking for volunteers. Can you donate a few hours or more of your time to be part of something rewarding and vital to the seniors of Elkhart County? Volunteers are just ordinary people with extraordinary hearts.
Ask us how you can share your time and gifts with us! Please call 574-295-1820 x222



Through the generosity of our community, the Council on Aging of Elkhart County makes a difference in the lives of many senior citizens. We rely on donations from individuals to provide our seniors with the care they need.  By donating items listed on the link below, your support helps us fulfill requests made by seniors and their families as well as manage the business processes that are instrumental in serving our clients needs.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to support our mission, we greatly appreciate your dedication and support.

About the Council on Aging Elkhart County

The Council on Aging of Elkhart County Inc.’s is on the frontline to advocate for senior citizens. The nonprofit’s mission is to support senior citizens living at home for as long as they are able to stay safe and healthy, the only agency to do so for senior citizens in Elkhart County. The Council provides transportation, in-home assistance and life-enriching opportunities for more than 5,261 Elkhart County seniors. For more information, please visit

Copyright © Council on Aging of Elkhart County, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Council on Aging of Elkhart County, Inc.
131 West Tyler Street, Suite 1A
Elkhart, Indiana 46516
(574) 295-1820