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Area organizations provide valuable information for Stone County seniors

On Tuesday, July 2, a group of Stone County senior citizens enjoyed socializing over banana splits, courtesy of 4 Ozark Seniors, Christian Action Ministries, and Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC). The event was hosted by 4 Ozark Seniors at their Table Rock Plaza location, 16585 St. Hwy. 13 in Branson West, which also serves as a weekly storefront pantry location for CAM.


Along with the ice cream treat, attendees received valuable information from Nathan Stearns of White River Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation about ways to save energy and money while still keeping cool this summer. Suggestions included closing off unused rooms; sealing around windows, electrical outlets, and other common air leak areas; and installing a programmable thermostat or adjusting temperatures for extended periods away from home, with some thought also given to how hard the system must work to restore the desired temperature upon returning.


Stearns also suggested attendees consider an energy audit, which OACAC coordinates with WRVECC for members to receive at greatly reduced cost. Recommendations made through such an audit can often result in significant cost savings, especially with rebates or tax credits often available for costs of remedying problematic areas such as inefficient ductwork. Another topic that often surfaces is older, inefficient appliances, such as water heaters and refrigerators; again, there are often rebates or credits for qualifying customers if the audit recommends replacement.


During ensuing discussion, Stearns explained how the 3-tiered power distribution system used by electric cooperatives works; it is truly a cooperative system with savings trickling up from individual improvements, which in turn inspire the rebate programs. Learn more by visiting and selecting “Member Center,” or call 417-272-0181 (Stone County) or 417-335-9335 (Taney County).


Following the energy discussion, Jerry Harman with H2Ozarks spoke briefly about another frequent problem, that of failing septic systems in watershed areas. Grant funding is also available for qualifying families, to help remediate failing systems and prevent pollution of Table Rock Lake and other Ozarks watersheds. Harman cited the many contributions of the lakes to the local economy, highlighting the importance of keeping them clean. A free inspection is available through H2Ozarks. Learn more at, or call 417-739-5001.


Providing such educational—and fun—events is part of the 4 Ozark Seniors mission of “Guiding our neighbors and their families through life’s transitions with compassion and personalized focus.” Toward that end, they coordinate with organizations such as OACAC and CAM, as well as county health departments, to guide area senior citizens toward services they may need but not know how to find. Another partner, Local Insurance Advisors, helps with navigating the sea of Medicare choices, and a recent partnership with Convoy of Hope and the Stone County Health Department is helping provide over-the-counter medicines and supplies.


Follow 4 Ozark Seniors and Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation on Facebook to stay up to date on events and resources. Mark your calendar for August 29, when OACAC will present valuable information for senior citizens who serve as kinship providers of foster care for grandchildren or other family members; meeting location is 16585 St. Hwy. 13, Suite L.

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