Dan Wooten, Active Life director, is looking forward to the new year and seeing more adults 55 and older coming to the center and “taking charge of their health.”
“The number of participants are growing in our fitness classes, our dance classes, wellness walking and general activities,” Wooten said. “The days of the rocking chair older adult are over. We have a tremendous response of participants who are staying active and still want to make a difference in the community.”
Wooten said Active Life members also make up a large proportion of volunteers for community projects.
“If all the older population would disappear, it would be obvious that the number of volunteers would be drastically reduced,” Wooten said. “Great examples are the groups here who quilt, crochet and knit projects for hospice patients, newborns and for other organizations’ fund-raising projects.”
Popular with members are activities in the game, craft, media and dining rooms, as well as the wellness center and the outdoor walking track and nature trail, all open on weekdays. Some of the crafts and games at the center include billiards, Mah Jongg, dominoes, knitting, crocheting, sewing and painting.
In the game room, at one of the three billiard tables, Howard Sanford watched Jim Posey get ready to take his next shot.
“I try to get here at least three days a week, sometimes a little more or less depending on what is going on,” Sanford said. “I come for the social activity. You get to know people and then you can socialize with your friends. This is a recreation center for adults.”
Posey added: “Every two or three months I come down to play, my wife is getting older so I spent a lot of time taking care of her.”
Sanford said that every first Friday of the month, the center holds a pool tournament. Each month the winner of the tournament gets their name displayed on the center’s billiard trophy. Sanford was also quick to point out that women are always welcome to play pool with the guys.
During February through early April, the center will offer a free AARP tax assistance program where trained volunteers will help low- to middle-income adults 55 and older complete their basic state and federal tax forms. The center is currently conducting registration for this program.
“Our members are also taking advantage of the day and longer trips that we offer,” Wooten said. “This year we have trips planned to see ‘Steel Magnolias’ at the Springer Opera House, the Big Apple Circus, plus a trip in May to Myrtle Beach, and one in September to Cape Cod.”
Future plans for the center include buying the adjacent 8-acre lot so that it may expand walking trails and add workout stations. Kia just presented the center with $10,000 to be put towards the expansion project.
The Active Life releases a monthly newsletter contains helpful seasonal safety tips, daily, weekly and monthly activity and contact information, special event and computer class information and a month-at-a-glance guide.
Membership to The Active Life is free and open to any adult 55 and older. For further information, those interested may stop by the center at 140 Ragland Street, go to www.theactivelife.org or call 706-883-1681.