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WCA Board holds annual meeting, reviews year, elects officers

The Women’s Christian Association of Fredonia held its annual meeting June 21 at the end of its first year of including men in its residency. Elected as new officers for one-year terms were President Christine Davis Mantai, Vice President Julie Essek, Treasurer Richard Halas, and Secretary Paula Warren. The WCA has operated in Fredonia since 1892 to provide a non-profit home for the aged. Until it admitted its first three men in 2019, it had exclusively serviced women for over a century.

In reviewing the 2018-19 financial statements of the WCA Home, Treasurer Halas reported total income of $1.404 million and total expenditures of $1.410 million, with the Home experiencing a robust year of occupancy. Wages were increased across the board by 8 percent as part of the board’s goal of maintaining excellence, and in tandem with New York State’s mandate to put the minimum wage at $15 per hour by 2020.

Capital expenditures of $80,945 were made for building improvement, furniture, fixtures and new equipment, including a thorough replacement and upgrade of the home’s fire panel and alarm system.

Income included a $16,000 grant from New York State, and $12,575 in contributions from donors.

The Investment Fund, seeded by a bequest from the late Carol Card Dudley of Fredonia, ended the year at $1.818 million. It provided funding for the home’s capital expenditures during the year and paid off a mortgage loan of $158 thousand. It also subsidized rent and care not reimbursed by government aid programs, and continues to enable the home to fulfill its mission of being affordable to those who need it.

WCA Home Administrator Tammy McCool said it has started expanding residency from 37 to 42 through the conversion of five rooms from singles to doubles. She pointed out that the Home received the Dunkirk Observer’sReader’s Choice award in 2018, and it participated in the local fundraising efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Fredonia Fire Department. She added that it has an informal partnership with BOCES to give hands-on experience to students in the health careers program.

Her goals for 2019-20 include installing a Wander Guard system to protect future residents who would be at risk of leaving the premises.

Board President Mantai said that the previous year started with a flourish when Barb Servatius and Terry Clifton were honored at Shorewood Country Club for more than 25 years of volunteering in the home and serving as officers on the board. Mrs. Servatius and Mrs. Clifton were named Board Members Emeritus. Both served on the board through major transitions, including a capital campaign, expansion of the facility, and, in 2012, adding an Assisted Living Program license. Mrs. Mantai described the two honorees as “Founders of the modern WCA Home.”

Two new board members joined the WCA team this year: Julie Essek and Lori Poniatowski. RN. Also serving additional terms are Mary Sue Vogel, Martha Schmitt, Lucinda Coon, and officers Mantai, Halas, and Warren. Leaving the board are Joseph McFall, Ph.D., and Janet Brown.

WCA board membership is open to anyone, Mantai said. A particular need exists for those with business, healthcare, or financial background. If interested, contact Mantai by email at mantaicd@fredonia.edu.

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