Nonprofit Spotlight

Nonprofit Spotlight

Garvey Senior Activity Center Council, Inc.
Unleash the Power of Age


The Garvey Senior Activity Center Council, Inc., is a nonprofit organization working to enhance the well-being of seniors by supplementing programs and activities offered at the Garvey Senior Activity Center.



In July 2014 a small group of St. Mary’s County senior citizens formed the Garvey Group. The Garvey Group’s charter was to develop a petition to present to the St. Mary’s County Commissioners for the urgent need of a new Garvey Senior Activity Center. The Garvey Group spent countless hours obtaining signatures on the petition from St. Mary’s County citizens to support this need. Close to 4,000 signatures were obtained, and the petition was presented to the county commissioners. In the spring of 2015, the commissioners approved funding for a new Garvey Senior Activity Center two years earlier than originally planned.
The Garvey Group and St. Mary’s County Library personnel joined efforts to obtain approval for both a new Garvey Senior Activity Center and a new library. The commissioners approved the co-location of the two facilities at Hayden Farm, also known as Leonard’s Grant, in Leonardtown, Maryland. 
The Garvey Group morphed into the Garvey Senior Activity Center Council. The Council incorporated in December 2015 and was approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Garvey Senior Activity Center Council, Inc., was directly involved with the interior and exterior design of the new Garvey Senior Activity Center in partnership with the library.
Today, the Garvey Senior Activity Center Council is an all-volunteer, comprised of 13 voting members, five of whom comprise the council’s executive board, and more than 20 associate members. Meetings are held every first Tuesday of the month at the Garvey Center. Members of the council volunteer numerous hours to support the staff at Garvey. Some examples of this support, that are set to increase this fall as programs begin again in full mode, are teaching classes, assisting with meals to seniors, and supporting the Center’s many activities and programs. The Council is working to meet the needs of all the seniors who are attending. 
A major emphasis of the Council continues to be fundraising for the Center. Years of dedicated raffle ticket sales in the store fronts of Leonardtown have been very successful.  In addition, donated art and quilts have been and continue to be very successfully auctioned by the Council.  Also, a Community Arts Development Grant was written, awarded by the St. Mary’s County Arts Council, and was fully used by June 2021.  The grant accommodated four three-hour art classes to seniors via Zoom.  The classes were held in the spring of 2021.  The different forms of art that were taught included pencil drawings, acrylics, and watercolors. At the end of each class the students were given the opportunity to display their finished products. Much hope remains that more art classes can be held in the future, and that an additional art grant from the Arts Council will be awarded.   
As the new Center continues to become operational and many seniors are using the new Center, equipment, program, and supply needs have become obvious. These needs include funding for additional programs and entertainment. Equipment needs include benches and side awnings for the pickle ball court, an additional ping pong table, a second television, and furniture for the outdoor cement patio. These unbudgeted needs are many and continue to be identified.
In July 2021, the Council was awarded a grant from the St. Mary’s County government after the county received funding from the Maryland Recovery Now funds.  This funding, in combination with another grant received by Brandy Tulley, Operations Manager at Garvey, will allow the Council to participate fully in the recovery of the Center after Covid-19. Plans are currently underway to purchase some outdoor furniture for the patio. We are hopeful more grant funding will be available to purchase more of the patio furniture that is needed.
The new Garvey Senior Center has many current challenges to meet the post-Covid needs of senior citizens in St. Mary’s. Grant writing and additional fundraising will continue to be major tools utilized by the Garvey Council to contribute to these physical and program needs.   
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has."
 -- Margaret Mead
Submitted by the Garvey Senior Activity Council, Inc. 
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Nonprofit Institute
College of Southern Maryland
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

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