Seniors who belong to the Easton Senior Center will soon have a brand new van to take them around town. Although the pandemic has delayed its arrival, the new van will to continue to improve the quality of life for many retirees, seniors, and physically challenged adults in the Easton community.
“The van takes the seniors all over Easton anywhere they need to go. The van often takes trips to appointments, shopping centers, church and even picnics for the seniors,” said Valerie Buckley, the director of the senior center.
The van is paid for by an annual grant of $41,000. Once the current van surpassed 100,000 miles, the senior center was able to apply for a grant from the State Department of Transportation. The grant secured the center an 80% price reduction on the new van. The remaining 20% of funding came from donations from different friends of the senior center across Easton, Buckley said.
The current, older Ford Chastang transit van will be replaced by the newest model of the Ford Chastang.
Resident Alice Vasil finds the Easton Senior Center and the van a pleasure.
“I have lived in the town since 1965. I am 96 years young and I rely on and enjoy the Easton Senior Center and the van service. The van is vital. I use it for doctor’s appointments, for shopping and for any other errands I may need. The staff are so much help to me. I absolutely adore the staff,” Vasil said.
Susan Slagle, who used to live with her 90-year-old mother Nancy Slagle, said the van service was incredible.
“It took my mother to and from the Jewish Senior Center in Fairfield every day of the week. The driver Dennis (Scofield) was phenomenal. He always took precautions to make sure everyone was safe. The van was always on time. It is really important to have such a reliable service in town for seniors who don’t get out as much and as easily, especially with the Covid pandemic. The senior center is phenomenal; they do so much for everyone there,” Slagle said.
Beloved van driver Dennis Scofield has been working at the senior center for the last two and a half years. His work with the seniors ranges from driving them to doctor’s appointments, taking them to get ice cream, assisting with shopping when needed, and most importantly providing friendship and kindness.
”Make friends with a senior,” Scofield said. “It will change your life.”