The Seniors of Skaneateles voted to shut down the organization last week, but it was just a formality.
President Jean Eaton announced earlier this year that the group would shut down this summer because members aren't taking leadership roles in the organization. Eaton has served as president for six out of the past 10 years. Bill Pavlus "rescued her" and took over for a couple years until she "rescued him" back, she said. Now with her husband's declining health, she wanted to pass the baton. However, finding people with the time and energy to lead has been difficult.
"It's a sad decision but we've had to make it," Eaton said. "It's something that we thought about for a while, that we're not able to continue any longer."
The group's scheduled elections were earlier this month, but without enough people stepping up to serve as officers, for example vice president and treasurer, the group instead voted to put an end to the nearly 30-year-old group. When the vote was called April 2, one woman cried "No" as the members agreed to discountinue the group.
"It's been a worthwhile organization, but ... the board can't continue," Eaton said. The nominating committee tried to put the word out to attract area residents who are 55 and older to join, but hadn't seen much response in the past year. Most of the 100 people who belong to the group have participated for 25 years, she said.
"We're in the process of ending things," she said. They have to reach out to the state to announce the move to dissolve because of the nonprofit status.
The club will close down in June. They have a contract with the Holiday Inn in Auburn for its regular lunches. This year, Eaton agreed to a six-month contract instead of a full year, hoping that interest would build. That contract ends in June, the last month the group will meet. They also canceled the handful of trips planned for the summer. Eaton thanked the town and Laker Limo for helping offer support to the group.
Many members attend the PEACE lunch on Wednesdays at the Skaneateles Y, so they may continue their friendships there, she said.
"Some of them have been our friends for more than 50 years," Eaton said of members. "We've been neighbors and friends and sometimes family. It's something that is sad. We'll make a special effort to stay in touch."