By Charles H. Lind, Charter member, former Executive Director
For a year, starting in mid April 1986, several public-spirited citizens (mostly senior citizens but with a liberal sprinkling of the sub-senior age group) throughout Southwest Bonner County, Idaho became involved in the establishment of a fire protection district. They subsequently raised funds for the construction of a fire station and to purchase some fire fighting related equipment.
With the successful conclusion of the fire station campaign
and the forming of a small non-profit public service corporation the founders foresaw a dream of a uniquely new kind of senior’s organization. The group was not limited to the affairs and economic needs of seniors, but also equally directed to the concerns of health, welfare, social and economic needs of the entire community. The Blanchard Community Center.
The merits of this benevolent organization with a mission so conceptually different from the usual senior groups became immediately apparent. The group would be very influential and involved in the well being of all ages from the cradle to the grave. This stature is bold, indeed, but well within the intended capacity of caring and consideration of the men and women of this organization.
So, in late 1987,
the fundraising drive for the fire protection district was successfully completed and the group began “gathering moss”, so to speak. It became evident that many other people in the community had much the same feelings regarding the premise of a strong, active, benevolent group to look after both area and human concerns and interests.
Through subsequent meetings, the concepts of the new organization continued to evolve. After much study, a name and logo were adopted. BLANCHARD AREA SENIORS INCORPORATED
became the name with the initials BASIC serving as the pseudonym and the logo, as well. BASIC represents the basic needs of all people everywhere.
This small but important word was then superimposed on an isosceles triangle to form the official logo. The broad base of this geometric design aptly represents the broad base of interests of the organization. The two equal sides pointing upward represent the idea of equal concern and consideration for all people and for issues that are particularly appropriate to the situation within the community. The logo also emphasizes the non-biased and nonpartisan precepts of the founders and members. The name perpetuates the same ideals.
From the very beginning this organization’s BASIC concept has effervesced with the power of enthusiasm of it’s members and very quickly became an organization of note in the community. It is recognized as a vehicle of communication for people by government officials at all levels of authority. The meetings are dynamic, lively, and serious and its members are very considerate of all issues, which come before them. All meetings are followed by a pause for informal social sharing with coffee and goodies.
The BASIC by-laws allow for a membership of all age groups.
Our organization’s liberal mix of young and old provides a cadre of continuum and gathers the basic influence of young adults, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers and grandparents in it’s great pool of knowledge and expertise. This diversity is invaluable to the group and to the concept on which it was founded.
BASIC has become the advocate for people of the community
and has an inherent roll, which is closely akin to that of a village government. The members of BASIC recognize the importance of politics and give close scrutiny to issues and candidates, but steadfastly maintain a position of non-partisanship. Members decide on an individual basis what issues to support and which to oppose, and vote for the candidate who they feel will steadfastly labor on our behalf regardless of party for each position in government. “Let the job seek the candidate, not the candidate the job.”
BASIC takes a deep interest in all community affairs
and encourages all others to participate in making our community, our state, our country and world a better place in which to live by honest and faithful efforts.
In 2004 BASIC was instrumental in securing an Idaho Community Development Block Grant sponsored by Bonner County
for the purpose of building a senior/community center in Blanchard. The Center was built on land donated by the Rusho Family Trust (Poirier) and additional land contributed and paid for by BASIC and members of the community. BASIC has received several additional grants and secured donations through the years to complete the Center. In September of 2006 the unfinished building was useable but the official grand opening “New Beginnings” took place in July of 2007. The Center is run entirely by volunteers with support through donations and fundraisers. The facility can also be rented for meetings and/or special events. The first rental was for a wedding in Dec 2007.