EAST BEND — Visitors to the YVEDDI East Bend Senior Center can engage in a wide variety of activities from lunch to line dancing. What they really come for though is the friendship and fellowship. It was a smaller group than usual, but those enjoying the lunch meal at the center on Monday said the main reason they come is to have a reason to get out of the house.
“Before I started coming up here, if I wasn’t going anywhere, a lot of days I would just put my house coat on top of my pajamas and when I got ready to go back to bed, I’d just take the house coat off and I’d already have my pajamas on,” said Ruth Wooten.
Thanks to the senior center though, Wooten has a reason now to get out of her pajamas for the day, though she confessed she took a pajama day during the snow last week.
A number of the regulars at the center said they started coming after their spouses passed away and it gave them a chance to get out of the house and have something to do.
“I like to exercise, we have good speakers that come and keep us in informed on health issues, Medicare and all that kind of stuff. We have the balance exercise on Fridays and then we have exercise equipment,” said Pat Weston, who has been frequent visitor to the center for nearly 12 years.
Bingo and line dancing are two popular activities at the YVEDDI East Bend Senior Center, as is the Friday night gathering for Rook players.
“The line dancing is good exercise, I enjoy it,” said Shelby Brown.
Walking on the treadmill is a favorite activity for Margaret Ridgeway.
Randy Lovette said he, too, began coming to the center to use the exercise equipment. After he suffered a heart attack, Weston convinced him to start visiting the senior center to do some exercise.
“He says I saved his life,” Weston said.
“See how he repaid me,” she added with a smile, showing off her new engagement ring.
“That happened at Christmas,” she said with another happy smile. “See, all kind of things happen here at the senior center,” she said laughing.
Senior Center Manager Rhonda Beavers said she has a very meaningful job. She began working at the center in 2001, just a year after it first opened.
“Our goal is to improve and energize the lives of senior adults,” she said.
Lunch is served daily during the week for anyone over the age of 60. The meal is by donation only and diners must sign up in advance. In addition to the exercise classes, line dancing and bingo, a craft class also is offered periodically as well as speakers on a variety of topics.
On Feb. 13, the center will hold its biggest event of the year, a dance. Tickets are $10 and include dinner and entertainment. The Stan Bobbitt Band will perform and door prizes will be given away.
For more information on the YVEDDI East Bend Senior Center, call 336-699-5100.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.