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Pay It Forward: Shelley Area Senior Center – The Elite Retreat

Todd Kunz serving lunch
Shilo Loree
Todd Kunz serving lunch at the Shelley Area Senior Center - The Elite Retreat.

SHELLEY, Idaho (KXPI) - They call it The Elite Retreat. It is a community center for active adults to stay active, with things for them to do, and meals served - including home delivered meals.

Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz stopped by to help served lunch and serve up a surprise.

Time to Pay It Forward.

The Shelley Area Senior Center was started in the 1970s according to bookkeeper Anita Snyder. She said it has been in its current building since the 1980s. The Elite Retreat draws the crowds.

"On average, on a Wednesday, usually between 60 to 80. There has been some days we've gotten clear up to 90, but on average, it is usually between 60 to 80 folks in-house. And we have 38 meals on wheels that we deliver," said Executive Director, Steven Thyberg.

The staff delivers for all of Shelley, out to Taylor and Goshen, and even out to Wolverine Road and into Firth. It is a wide delivery area. Thyberg said one of the routes is about 36 miles.

The in-house meals are served Wednesdays and Fridays at noon. All ages are welcome.

The home-delivered meals go out Wednesdays and Fridays also. Some of the recipients get frozen meals that will last them through the weekends.

During the winter, they provide an emergency meal that can be used in case someone gets snowed in. But it is not just meals. They provide recreational events during the off-days of Tuesdays and Thursday, classes like 'Fit and Fall.'

"It is used to increase their mobility," said Thyberg.

"Flexibility and balance," added Snyder.

"Their balance and their safety," said Thyberg.

It takes many volunteers and the staff to make this operation function. Kunz decided to pitch in and help serve lunch this Wednesday.

The city of Shelley helps with funding. So does Bingham County, the Area Agency on Aging, The United Way, and other grants.

"And then a lot of our folks that come in here, they donate to what we call the 'Five and Twenty Club,'" said Snyder.

Time to help out a little more. Time to Pay It Forward.

"We got two new computers to replace our ones that were, what, 16 years old? And they were used before we received it (grant). And from there, we had...," said Thyberg, his voice trailing off as a man walked up and began to speak.

"Steven, I'm going to pause you for a minute. I'm Jake," the man said.

"Hi Jake?" replied Thyberg.

"Nice to meet you. And Anita right?" asked the man, reaching his hand out to Snyder.

"Yes," replied Snyder.

"Good to meet you. I'm Jake (Baggaley). I'm with Mountain America Credit Union. And well, we hear what you guys are doing for your community with the senior center. We are super grateful. I think it's awesome how you guys keep our elderly connected in the community, providing meals, providing events for them to come and join with you, and so on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, we would like to Pay It Forward to you guys and make a donation of $500 for you," said Baggaley, pulling cash out of an envelope.

"Oh, wonderful," said Thyberg.

"Thank you," said Snyder.

"That is such a huge help for us," said Thyberg.

"Yeah," said Baggaley.

"That just really goes a long ways," added Thyberg.

"Yeah. That will be great. Thank you," said Snyder.

"I'm so excited. Thanks for all you guys do," said Baggaley,

"That will be great. Thank you," said Snyder.

"Thank you so much. Hey folks, we just got a big ole donation," said Thyberg, turning to the crowd as they clapped.

"Whoa," said one man in the crowed who was seated at the tables.

"Thank you!" said Thyberg to Baggaley.

The Shelley Area Senior Center - The Elite Retreat is located at 193 West Pine Street in Shelley.

The website can be found here. The Facebook page can be found here.

"Pay It Forward" stories air the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Eyewitness News 3, Local News 8 and Fox 5.


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