MANLIUS — Silver Fox Senior Social Club has hired a new executive director as it settles into its second location after its expansion into the town of Manlius.
The organization, a nonprofit senior living provider, has hired Jennifer Mellone, who begins work on July 22, according to Ken Elander, VP of the Silver Fox board of directors.
“She has worked locally in senior care for over 20 years,” he says. Elander spoke with CNYBJ on July 9.
Mellone most recently worked as executive director of Franciscan Villa in Salina, per her LinkedIn page.
The previous director, Barbara Deptula, left Silver Fox in late May with plans to relocate to South Carolina, says Elander.
Mellone begins her duties as Silver Fox operates with locations in two communities.
The second site, known as Silver Fox East, opened inside Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at 7248 Highbridge Road (or Route 92) in Manlius on April 8. The original location operates at 22 E. Genesee St. in the village of Baldwinsville.
Need to expand
Silver Fox, an adult day center, opened in Baldwinsville in 2007. It says it offers support, care, activities, and home-cooked meals for members, and provides a respite for caregivers. The center offers seniors a chance to socialize with others their age.
In the last several years, seniors, families, and health-care professionals have asked if Silver Fox ever considered expanding its operations to an area east of Syracuse “because there is no facility like [it] serving [the] community,” according to Elander.
“We did a market study and so we finally decided this year that the time was right for us to open that new facility,” he notes.
As Silver Fox searched for a location in the eastern suburbs in late 2018, it was contacted by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, which was thinking about the same topic. “They came to us and said we know that there is a need and we have space but we don’t have any expertise,” Elander recalls.
As their conversations continued, Silver Fox told Good Shepherd it was aware of the need, was looking for space, and had “all the expertise,” he adds.
When asked how much it cost to open the location at Good Shepherd, Elander declined to disclose a dollar figure but indicated Silver Fox self-funded the opening.
Work to prepare the space for operation was “largely cosmetic” and the organization had to buy furniture for the space.
Inside Good Shepherd, Silver Fox currently operates in about 1,200 square feet of space.
“It’s some space in the church in their lounge area,” says Elander. “We’ve fitted it to resemble just a smaller version of what we do in Baldwinsville.”
Silver Fox would like to expand within available space inside the church that’s currently vacant, he notes.
“We’re looking at the feasibility of that,” says Elander. “We hope to expand to over 3,000 square feet there.”
The organization, on average, accommodates about eight seniors per day at the Silver Fox East location and about 40 per day in Baldwinsville.
“Some people come for one day. Some people come every day during the week. It’s a flexible program,” he adds.
Members pay a daily cost of $73, he says. Some members cover the cost themselves, while others have agencies, like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, pay it, according to Elander.
Silver Fox employs 15 people between both locations, including between three and four at Silver Fox East, depending on the number of members involved. The employees include a chef, licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, certified nurse’s aides, home health aides, and an activities director.