streetThe Castle Rock Senior Center operates the largest public transportation program in Castle Rock and one of the largest in Douglas County, providing dozens of rides to seniors and the disabled everyday.

Volunteer drivers put as much as 10,000 miles a month on the center’s cars, vans and buses. They make about 900 trips a month, mostly in the Castle Rock area.

Grants provide most of the money to run the center’s transportation program, but donations and activity fees are very important, says Bill Kelly, chairman of the program. Automobile donations to the senior center provide continued funding for the center’s transportation program on an on-going basis.

Bill Kelly says 41 vehicles have been donated to the senior center in the past six years, raising about $51,000 that has gone directly to transportation. The funds pay everything from gas and maintenance to helping buy vehicles. Service on the center’s vehicles cost $11,000 annually, while fuel averages $16,000.

The funds raised from selling donated vehicles go directly to the transportation program, says Wayne Teel of Parker, who helped design the car donation program a decade ago and turns the donated vehicles into cash for the center.

After a vehicle is donated, Teel decides if it is in good enough condition to sell or if it needs to be recycled. He most often works through an auction house to sell them and the center provides the donor with all the paperwork to show the value that can be claimed on the donor’s income tax deductions.

Teel volunteers his time to process the vehicles, whereas many other car donation programs hire someone to handle it. They may charge a fee as high as 50 percent of the vehicle value, he says. The center does pay the auction house a 10 percent fee, but the remaining 90 percent goes directly to the center’s transportation.

It’s easy to donate a vehicle to the senior center, says Kelly. Just call the center at 303-688-9498, provide the vehicle information and the center handles everything else.