By Brent Frankenhoff
With the continuing changes to our daily lives caused by the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19/Coronavirus, there is a need for updates and information on how the Jensen Community Center and the Community Spirit are reacting.
Our response began on Monday, March 9, when we put additional hand sanitizers in our lobby and a sign urging all visitors to sanitize and wash their hands before proceeding further into the building. We also stepped up our sanitizing and cleaning procedures with additional applications of anti-viral solutions to exposed surfaces.
On March 13, we were informed that Senior Meals and the twice-weekly Strong Bodies program, both overseen by the ADRC, would no longer be meeting at the Jensen Center until further notice, but that home-delivered meals would be distributed from the Lincoln Center in Stevens Point. For more information on what the ADRC can still do for our senior citizens, please call 715-346-1401.
At that point, we were also told of the cancellation of the Tomorrow River Concert with Small Potatoes on March 14 and made the decision to cancel our Free Movie, Frozen 2 on March 15.
Early the following week, with schools closing and additional guidelines coming out nearly daily, we spoke with our regular renters about their plans and they put their activities on hold, eventually cancelling them until further notice.
In the wake of these closures and based on the latest guidelines from officials, on March 19, the Jensen Community Center Board of Directors voted to close the Jensen Center to the public effective the following day, cancelling all events and activities for the remainder of March and all of April and May, and asked all employees to work limited hours. (Information on how to reach us during this time appears below.)
The largest program affected by this decision was our 2020 Youth Soccer program. Parents were informed and registration fee refunds are being processed as quickly as possible. If you haven’t received a refund by April 15, please let us know.
In addition to our regular ongoing activities each week (Senior Meals, Strong Bodies, Card and Scrabble games, music with Chris Kokesh, Middle School Gaming Club, Zumba Gold, Yoga, and Flight Fitness), the following events have also been cancelled or postponed:
• Portage County Master Gardeners’ Garden Dreams Seminar, March 28 (cancelled)
• Jensen Center Variety Show, Saturday, April 4 (cancelled, but acts are invited to submit videos of their performance to Associate Director Mariah Singer-Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Free Movie: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, April 5 (postponed until further notice)
• Recycling/Composting Presentation, April 9 (cancelled)
• The Tomorrow River Lioness Easter Egg Hunt, April 11 (cancelled)
• SILO movie Screening, April 19 (postponed)
• Tomorrow River Youth Arts Festival, April 25 (cancelled)
• Tomorrow River Concerts’ 25th Anniversary Concert with Chris Wagoner, Mary Gaines, and Randy Sabien (postponed)
• Team Fox Fundraising Dinner, May 2 (postponed)
• Jensen Center Plant Sale Fundraiser, May 9 (cancelled)
• Scorched Waves Concert, May 16 (postponed)
As you’ll see elsewhere in this issue, hammered dulcimer performer Ted Yoder is still planning to perform here on Saturday, May 23. If necessary, we’ll update his status in our next issue of the Spirit.
Speaking of the Spirit, we are continuing to publish and sincerely thank our local advertisers who use our pages to promote their products and services for their ongoing support. In these uncertain times, we ask that our readers do all they can to shop local to keep these businesses going and don’t forget them once restrictions are lifted. They are the lifeblood of our community.
While the Jensen Center is closed and employees are working limited hours, you can still contact us by leaving a voicemail message on our phone (715-824-5202) or by email:
Executive Director Brent Frankenhoff: email@example.com
Associate Director Mariah Singer-Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Manager Wendy Wolfe: email@example.com
Community Spirit Editor and Publisher Bonni Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org
And that’s not all! You’ll also see updates and photos on our Facebook page – Jensen Community Center/Community Spirit – and our website, lettiejensencenter.org. In addition, Mariah has been posting videos with various community members on our YouTube page. (Did you know we have a YouTube page?) You’ll find those videos under “Jensen Community Center.”
As many have said online and elsewhere, we’re all in this together. We’re following the various directives and guidelines from national, state, and local authorities and plan to be back in full operation as soon as possible.