Organizers of the local senior centers in Yadkin County are on a mission to get more of Yadkin County’s active older adults involved in their many unique events. From dances to day trips, the East Bend Senior Center, the Yadkin County Senior Center in Yadkinville and the Yadkin Valley Senior Center in Jonesville offer a wide variety of programs geared toward those 50 and older.
“We want to be the ‘next big thing’ for baby boomers in the area,” said Wendy Hayden, director of the Yadkin County Senior Center. “We want to be the place where it all happens after people are retired or getting ready to retire.”
Jennifer Hemric, director of the Yadkin Valley Senior Center, said the mission of the area senior centers is changing and they are working hard to eliminate the stigma that senior centers are just a place for older folks to come to “knit and die.”
Although knitting is still a popular activity and one of the most active groups at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center works tirelessly to create knitted and crocheted prayer shawls for hospice and other local organizations. The center is also hoping to add more active events like exercise classes.
Essentially, Hemric said, the mission of the senior centers is to “enhance the quality of life for those 50 and older.”
Each month, the centers take a turn hosting a dance. The Yadkin County Center recently held a “sock-hop” themed event, complete with a twist contest. On June 19, the Yadkin Valley Senior Center will be hosting a “senior prom” with a masquerade theme, live band and spaghetti dinner. Admission will be only $5.
The groups also take turns hosting day trips. Last week, a large group of seniors went to Shatley Springs to enjoy their famous ham biscuits and more.
At the East Bend Senior Center, Director Ronda Beavers said that Rook and dancing were some of the most popular activities. Beavers said she had a group of 20 to 30 people who come every Friday night to play Rook.
In addition to taking clogging, line dancing and other dance classes at the center, the East Bend Senior Center also boasts its own performance dance group called Sassy Seniors that performs at many area festivals and events and a senior chorus group called Young at Heart.
Beavers said she wanted area residents to know that the senior center is a great place to hang out and make new friends and stay educated on important topics related to health issues and safety.
“We have the detectives comes once a month and tell us about the scams that everybody needs to know about,” Beavers said. “We also have doctors that come in and do presentations on health related topics.”
For Hayden and Hemric, they want to bring more awareness to the fact that their centers are there and provide great programming for the older residents in the area.
“We’re here for you to thrive and not just survive,” Hayden said.
The three centers are designed as Senior Centers of Excellence and have undergone rigorous evaluations in order to hold this honor. Each center offers scheduled events and classes weekly and special events and trips monthly and weekly meals served. For more information about the East Bend Senior Center, call 336-699-5100. For more information about the Yadkin County Senior Center in Yadkinville, call 336- 679-3596. For more information about the Yadkin Valley Senior Center in Jonesville, call 336- 526-1087.
Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.