Senior citizens enjoy picnic in the park

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It wasn’t just high school seniors who were celebrating last week. Area senior citizens were also having fun and fellowship together as part of Older Americans Month.

Folks from the senior nutrition centers in Georgiana, Ft. Deposit and Greenville gathered at Sherling Lake last Thursday morning, May 25, for their annual picnic.

&uot;This is something we do for our area seniors each spring. There are several other activities going on right now but we are pleased to have such a good number turn out anyway,&uot; Mary Braden, senior services director for the City of Greenville, said.

Red, white and blue balloons added color to the occasion as the appetizing scent of grilling hot dogs, prepared by Valley of Montgomery, wafted through the air.

Representatives from the Alabama Department of Seniors Services, the AARP state office and the South Central Alabama Development Commission on Aging were among those in attendance on the summer-like day.

Ruth Rambo and Gay Wasden of AARP were on hand to lead the seniors in a few rounds of &uot;Wheel of Fortune,&uot; while Gene Blyer proved an able numbers caller for the ever-popular bingo played by many of those in attendance.

Door prizes were also won by a number of attendees.

Maud Garrick, nutrition coordinator for the region’s senior center, visited with the local seniors and helped serve them their picnic meal.

&uot;It’s always a pleasure to back in Butler County,&uot; Garrick said with a smile.

Local officials and candidates also stopped by for the special occasion.

Kenny Harden, a candidate for Butler County sheriff, made a brief campaign stop and handed out a very welcome object on the unseasonably warm day – hand fans.

&uot;Now, that was a brilliant idea,&uot; Cathy Brown, Greenville nutrition site manager said as she fanned herself.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon shared how much the city’s senior program meant to his mother, Joyce.

&uot;This is a great program and we want to be able to continue to offer many things to our seniors to give you a good quality of life,&uot; McLendon said.

Thomas Robinson, pastor of Mixonville Community Church, led Mary Wallace and her contingent from Georgiana in singing several hymns and gospel songs, including the peppy &uot;Jesus Hold My Hand.&uot;

&uot;If you want to rush, don’t ask a preacher to lead the music. I like to sing all the verses. Sometimes the best ones are the ones folks usually skip,&uot; Robinson told the crowd.

Before lunch, everyone held hands and sang &uot;Amazing Grace,&uot; a tradition at the Greenville Nutrition Site, Brown said.

Volunteers put together plates with hot dogs, baked beans and all the trimmings to deliver to the seniors’ tables.