Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current, November 29, 2017, Page 5A, Image 5

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    Polk County News
Polk County Itemizer-Observer • November 29, 2017 5A
Continued from Page 1A
Her social work started at
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church
and has extended through-
out the community.
“She helps with some of
the community outreach for
the church and gets people
the resources they need,”
said Erubiel Valladares, the
community liaison with the
city of Independence. “She
does that on her own.”
Pena also serves on a task
force that breaks down ac-
cess to local government,
Valladares said.
“She’s part of a group of
leaders helping create gener-
al access for information for
people who live in Independ-
ence,” he said.
Pena has gone through
immigration counseling
services through St. Patrick’s,
receiving training on how to
help people fill out immigra-
tion forms to qualify for pro-
“There are people who
need help getting connected
with services,” Pena said.
“These things are very worth-
while in my life because I’ve
learned a lot — and I’m still
learning — to connect with
certain agencies. And if I
don’t know, I just call some-
body. I have good friends.
Some of them have graduat-
ed to the afterlife.”
Pena helps people in pri-
“She helps a lot of people
without other people know-
ing about it,” Villastrigo said.
“Taking them to doctor’s ap-
pointments, finding out the
resources they need to get
help. Sometimes when
there’s something that hap-
pens in the community, she’s
usually the first one to find
out and figure out how the
community can help or what
can be done.”
People in the community
know they can count on
“They know that I know
some people, and if I don’t
know, I’ll find out,” she said.
“All the people that I have
served have helped me learn
what I know, because if they
hadn’t checked with me, I
had to look for it or ask for it,
I wouldn’t know.”
Pena said she has learned
there are a lot of good people
in the community — and in
government offices.
“There are good lawyers
and good people out there
that really care,” she said.
“Sometimes people don’t un-
Teal: Retirement reception
planned for Thursday at 1 p.m.
Elena Pena has brought the community together with the
Community Fiesta.
derstand. People have the at-
titude, ‘Those state people;
those government people,’
but I know a lot of people
who have really helped.”
Pena continues to help in
whatever capacity she can.
“She has a spirit of want-
ing to help without getting
anything back,” Villastrigo
As Pena watches her men-
tors, teachers and friends
age, she worries about the
youth. She sees them texting
each other in the same room,
or sucked into video games.
“They’re isolated from
people nowadays,” she said.
“If you don’t communicate
with people, you miss out on
a real love connection. Or
you can’t help them because
you don’t see what they need,
because they’re stuck in their
own little world.”
Matinees are all shows
before 6pm. New pricing for
matinees are: Adult $8.00
Children $7.00 • Senior $7.25
Pricing does not reflect
3D showings.
Friday - Sunday • December 1-3
DADDY’S HOME 2 (Digital) (PG13) (12:10 2:30 4:55) 7:20
THE STAR (Digital) (PG)
(12:25 2:35 4:45) 6:55
*COCO (Digital) (PG)
(With Short: Olaf’s Frozen Adventure) (12:20 12:55 3:50)
THOR: RAGNAROK (Digital) (PG13)
(12:50 3:45) 6:45
(1:35 4:20)
6:35 7:05
(1:55 4:35) 7:15
WONDER (Digital) (PG)
(1:30 4:10) 6:50
Monday - Thursday • December 4-7
DADDY’S HOME 2 (Digital) (PG13)
(2:30 4:55)
THE STAR (Digital) (PG)
(2:35 4:45)
*COCO (Digital) (PG)
(With Short: Olaf’s Frozen Adventure) (12:55 3:50)
THOR: RAGNAROK (Digital) (PG13)
(12:50 3:45)
(1:35 4:20)
(1:55 4:35)
WONDER (Digital) (PG)
(1:30 4:10)
*Starred attraction, no passes
Continued from Page 1A
“Last year, we sold out
in two days,” Teal said. “It’s
become very popular. Peo-
ple call months ahead
wondering when the date
is and when they can get
tickets. And I love the way
it brings the community
It takes about 80 volun-
teers to put on the tea,
Teal said, from WOU’s soc-
cer team to the senior cen-
ter’s yoga group.
“Another favorite of
mine is the travel,” she
said. “I used to drive all
the trips. I can’t do that
now because I’m too busy,
but we went for a five-day
trip in June, and it was so
much fun.”
Organized trips with the
senior center isn’t a struc-
tured thing, Teal said, but
more like taking a vacation
with family.
“When we went to Leav-
enworth (Wash.), we were
planning on stopping for
an hour,” Teal recalled.
“We got there, and it was
an accordion festival. We
changed our minds and
stayed three or four hours
and had lunch. It’s like
your family and you’re
going on a trip, and you
see things that you don’t
know you’re going to see,
and it’s a lot of fun.”
Teal was able to start the
travel program thanks to a
$5,000 donation left to the
center by a woman who
passed away.
They used the money to
buy a used van. Through
other money raised and
donated, the center was
able to upgrade the van
through the years.
“In 2000, we bought the
van we have now,” Teal
said. “We had a couple on
our travel committee very
passionate about wanting
a bus. They passed away
and in memorial, they
gave us $12,000 for a new
bus, so now we’re trying to
raise enough money to get
something that’s easier ac-
At 67, Teal said she is
ready to retire, though she
will miss the people.
“In one respect, I want
to retire,” Teal said. “My
husband’s been retired for
five years. We’ve already
bought a fifth-wheel. We
have plans of traveling.”
Teal said the center and
its members are in good
hands as plans are full
steam ahead for more pro-
grams, more outreach and
more caring for the sen-
iors in the Monmouth and
Independence communi-
“It will be hard to say
goodbye, but knowing I
can go back and help,”
Teal said. “I’ll probably go
to the potluck (in Decem-
ber) just to go to the
potluck. I won’t be work-
ing, but I will still pop in
and do some of the fun
things. I’ll get to see the
people. That’s where my
heart is. There’s good in
everybody, that’s what we
need to be looking for.”
She said she could not
have done it without the
amazing spirit of volun-
“I just wanted to say
that in those 28 years, I
could have done nothing
without the support of so
many people that came to
our center and volun-
teered their time,” Teal
said. “I started doing
everything alone, and as
people started pitching in,
I could do so much more. I
couldn’t have done it with-
out them. The love and
support they have given,
that’s what made the dif-
ference here.”
Dallas Downtown
Merchants Are
With your participation in the
Downtown Turkey Giveaway
you were able to give away turkeys to
35 winners and donate
to the Dallas Food Bank!
Looking forward to next year!