Hi, I’m Meg Zenk.
I’m executive director of the Dekalb Co. Council On Aging/HEIMACH CENTER. Believe me, I couldn’t do my job without our fabulous staff, our Board members and the volunteers who sacrifice their time so willingly.
The purpose of our organization, with its senior center as its focal point, is to assist seniors, disabled persons and others in maintaining their independence and being able to live in their own homes as long as possible. The agency also assists people of all ages through our transportation services and other activities to meet their physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and mobile needs. We appreciate you taking the time to visit our website. I’m sure you’ll discover what so many others have realized – our services impact far more than seniors.
History of Dekalb County Council on Aging and Heimach Senior Activity Center
In the early 1970’s Reverend Bill Heimach, then pastor of Auburn Presbyterian Church, realized there was a need for DeKalb County’s seniors to come together for food, fellowship and fun. In 1978, that realization led to the development of the DeKalb County Council on Aging.
In 1978, the agency’s first executive director, Sandy Mafera, helped to facilitate the purchase, at auction for $30,000, of an old Baptist church at the corner of 6th and Jackson Streets. Sandy went home that evening and husband, Steve, asked, “What did you do today?” Sandy replied, “Bought a church!” Gasping, Steve asked, “With what?” A smiling, giddy Sandy stated, “Who knows, but it will work out – it is going to be the county’s first senior center!” With the help of scores of volunteers, Reverend Bill Heimach, other community leaders and dozens of funders, Sandy’s dream became a reality.
When the current Executive Director, Meg Zenk was hired in 1984; the only other employee was a driver for the agency’s one van; the agency now has twelve vehicles and employs 30 people.
In 1993, with the help of a Community Focus Fund Grant from the Indiana Dept. of Commerce and a little band of 8 to 10 Board members, employees and volunteers who raised over $200,000 in not much more than a couple of weeks, the agency was able to obtain its current location at 1800 E. 7th St., Auburn. A former funeral home, the over 9000 sq. ft. Heimach Center is located on five acres east of DeKalb Health. The acquisition enabled the agency the opportunity to operate the DeKalb Co. Council on Aging, a multi-functional senior center and a specialized transportation system.
In 2008, the Indiana Dept. of Transportation named our transit business as the county’s public transit system. DART (DeKalb Area Rural Transit) serves all ages with a great many of their transit needs.