By Gregg Scott
For over 34 years the Chester senior community has been served nutritious meals, in a manner that few other communities can compare, under the direction of local resident Carolyn Steurer. Shortly after moving to Chester, Steurer was looking for a part-time job to occupy some of her spare time and she found it in 1988 with three other locals serving Senior Nutritional Meals at the Chester Memorial Hall.
At that time, the program was funded directly by a federal grant and all four were compensated as hourly employees. Fast-forward to 1991 when the program was moved to the newly built dining room at the Wildwood Senior Center. With a much more welcoming interior, along with tables and chairs that did not need to be set up and taken down every day, there was certainly more time to dedicate attention to food preparation and service to the patrons. In 1998, the program’s funding chain was changed and the Plumas County Senior Services Department became the lead agency in the county. All of the Senior Nutrition meals served in Plumas are planned out each month by the county’s nutritional dietitian as to quantity and food types. Preparation is left up to the site director and head cook. Steurer mentioned that perhaps that is when her position became a full-time job because employees were now receiving job benefits,
Since that move in 1998, Site Director Steurer has been growing and improving the local program with a dedication that is evident to all that are paying attention. With the exception of a short period of time that she took care of the Greenville facility, she has overseen the growth and quality service provided to the senior community and beyond. Known as The Village Café at Wildwood, Chester’s Senior Nutrition serves those who make a reservation in the dining room and also delivers an average of 25-35 meals a day to seniors in the basin. Steurer’s holiday specials, including Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Thanksgiving along with several others, have been huge hits with the community. Attendance runs in the neighborhood of 70 to 80 patrons for those special events.
The week of Sept. 26 – 30, was Carolyn Steurer’s last week on the job and it was a week of celebration and recognition for her many years of loyal dedication. Virtually every day a community group or agency thanked her for her efforts. The culmination to the week was on Saturday, Oct. 1, where her family members hosted an open house so everyone in the community could come and wish her well in her future endeavors. Thankfully, for the community, she plans on staying in Chester. She will be traveling a little and visiting her youngest daughter in North Carolina, but then will be home to tackle, what she calls, a long list of “honey do’s” that are overdo. Congratulations Carolyn Steurer for all your service to the community.