Friends of Oshkosh Seniors Center

Mission Statement:

We are community members dedicated to supporting the Oshkosh Seniors Center and those who use its programs and services.

History of the Friends:

The Friends group began in 1986 in response to then City Manager Bill Frueh requesting a non-profit or auxiliary be formed to “handle the money” being donated to the Oshkosh Seniors Center.

After a study was completed, the Oshkosh Seniors Center Board of Directors decided that a separate not for profit incorporated group would be the needed support to the public-sponsored Oshkosh Seniors Center. Thus, the Friends of the Oshkosh Seniors Center, Inc., a non-profit, 501C3 organization was born.

Funds raised by this group would remain the property of that group. Seven members of the Board of Directors of the Oshkosh Seniors Center became the incorporating Board of the Friends.

Since then, the Friends have conducted two capital campaigns. The first generated 1.2 million dollars within the Oshkosh community that built the South building (formerly the Main facility). These funds were then donated to the City of Oshkosh to pay for the building.

The Friends of the Oshkosh Seniors Center, being the parent group in their 2nd major campaign, along with the Oshkosh Seniors Center Board and the Oshkosh Committee on Aging raised an additional 3/4 million dollars to purchase and renovate the North building, formerly the Do-It Center and the Annex. The additional square footage of that building gave a total of 30,000 square feet of space for Oshkosh Seniors Center services.

The City facilitated a five-year loan for the purchase and renovation of the North building and in May of 2005, that loan was paid off in full by the Friends with a check presented by then FOSC President, Barb Ruedinger to then Mayor Richard Wollangk.

After each campaign, the funds raised were turned over to the City of Oshkosh; the facilities were and still are the property of the City. The City is responsible for upkeep, utilities and insuring of the facilities and continues to support 2/3 of the Center’s annual budget.

Past Fundraising Efforts:

Over the years, the Friends have supported many efforts where City funds were not available.

  • In 2016, the Friends donated $51,385 to the Oshkosh Seniors Center to support the programs and services at the Center.

These funds were raised through annual donations, Winnebago Seniors Tours (which plan and host trips throughout Wisconsin and other places within the U. S.).

How can I support the Friends of the Oshkosh Seniors Center?

The Friends of the Oshkosh Seniors Center (FOSC) was created in 1986 to generate dollars to support the City of Oshkosh Seniors Center. FOSC reaches out to the Oshkosh Community with various fundraising (the Murder Mystery Dinner, Food Truck Fridays, and Election Day Bake Sales) throughout the year plus an Annual Appeal Letter. Friends support dollars are donated back to the Oshkosh Seniors Center for programs, services and activities that enhance the quality of life Oshkosh area seniors.

We first heard the phrase “it takes a village” in regard to raising children, not just one person but a village – the entire community. Today the Friends of the Oshkosh Seniors Center need the support of that “village” to support the Center as tax dollars decrease and the senior population increases. Become part of a “village” that financially supports the social, spiritual, environmental, emotional, occupational, intellectual and physical wellness programming and services at the Oshkosh Seniors Center.

Everyone is invited to become a “Friend” of the Oshkosh Seniors Center. Friends of all ages are welcome from the surrounding area and outside the state of Wisconsin. Together we can make a difference. Make a minimum donation of $25 and receive “The Current”, the Oshkosh Seniors Center monthly newsletter mailed to your home.

By now, all past FOSC supporters should have received the Friends of the Oshkosh Seniors Center, Inc. Annual Appeal letter. If you did not receive a letter and are interested in being included on future mailings please send an email request to the Friends email address - Friendsofosc1986@gmail.com

2018 Fall Appeal

Donations may be mailed to:
FOSC
PO Box 3423
Oshkosh, WI 54903–3423

Winnebago Seniors Tours

Winnebago Seniors Tours became part of the Friends of the Oshkosh Seniors Center in 1993 and continues to grow in the number of its trip offerings and participants.

Winnebago Seniors Tours Office Location (Located inside the Oshkosh Seniors Center South Building)

200 North Campbell Road
Oshkosh, WI 54902
Office Hours – Monday through Friday, 8am to 3pm
(920) 232-5312

Its goal is to offer affordable trips to any adult and to contribute to the Oshkosh Seniors Center.

The Tours group has become an important contributor within the Friends organization; since its collaboration with the Friends, contributed over $100,000 to the Center.

A one day trip may be for a fun day of gambling at a popular casino, a dinner and Christmas show in a Broadway-like theater in Wisconsin Dells, a full day of a variety of activities in Madison, Wisconsin, or a meal and “Oldies but Goodies” music at the Fireside Dinner Theater in Ft. Atkinson, WI.

A longer trip may be a five day travel to Memphis and Nashville where you would see Graceland, and then a backstage tour of the home of the Grand Ole Opry; then onto Kentucky to actually take a drive around the world-famous track at Indianapolis Speedway.

The Winnebago Seniors Tours is managed and planned, and escorted by volunteers from the Friends. Some tours taking 40 hours of volunteer time to investigate, plan, and escort.

Endowment Fund

The Friends started an Endowment Fund in 2000 with the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation where generous bequests and other donations have allowed the principal to continue to grow.

It is a goal to continue to increase the principal of the Endowment so that each year, a portion of the interest earned can help support programs of the Oshkosh Seniors Center.

FRIENDS BOARD

  • Carolyn Edgarton - President
  • Cheryl Freiberg - Vice President
  • Sue Kreibich - Treasurer
  • Shelley Swanson - Secretary
  • Joseph P. McCleer - Attorney
  • Keri Hammen
  • Tom King
  • Rhonda Buchanan
  • Jerry Burke
  • Betty Litjens
  • Linda Gomach
  • Sarah Thompson
  • Eric Lehocky
  • Bev Mallon - Oshkosh Seniors Center Advisory Board Representative

Any questions or concerns please direct them to our email address - friendsofosc1986@gmail.com