Senior Day Offers Many Activities

The Wetzel Chronicle
August 4, 2010

Special senior citizens who have contributed to the community have the opportunity to be recognized for their work during Senior Citizens Day at Town and Country Days, Aug. 12.

Friends and family are encouraged to nominate seniors 60 years of age and older to be named Outstanding Senior of the Year by the Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year Committee. The special senior should have made a significant difference to the community, however they do not need to be a member of a senior center. They also do not need to have done their community work through an organization. Mary Ash, Wetzel County Committee on Aging director, pointed out that 2008′s recipient helped people in his neighborhood. Ash underlines that everything is free for senior citizens at the fair on Aug. 12.

A brief written statement of a nominated senior citizen must be submitted to Mary Ash at 145 Paducah Drive, New Martinsville. The committee who selects the recipient is made up of a member of the Town and Country Days board, WCCOA, one of the senior citizens staff members, and an elected official. The review of nominations is done anonymously.

The Outstanding Senior will be named at 2:30 p.m. as the final senior event of many planned for Aug. 12 at the fair. The winner will receive a plaque from S&S Jewelry and a special $100 Wal-Mart gift card for this year’s 50th anniversary of the fair.

From 8:30-10 a.m. there will be a health fair with Anwar Eye Center doing eye screenings, Dr. Daniel Mason doing ear screenings, and the West Virginia Northern Community College nursing class of 2011 taking blood sugar levels and blood pressures. Additionally, the Sistersville Nursing and Rehab Center and the New Martinsville Health Care Center will distribute literature and answer questions. Amedisys Hospice Services will also be available for questions. Like all of the senior events that day, the health screenings are free and will be held in the air conditioned and handicap accessible Mollohan Center on the fair grounds, the Wetzel County 4-H Camp. A Veterans Administration representative will also be there to answer questions and offer assistance.

Farmer’s Market vouchers will also be available at the Senior Day activities. Recipients must be 60 years or older, have valid identification, and live in Wetzel County. A total of $20 worth of coupons are given per household. There are income guidelines.

Distributions to eligible persons are also made on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the New Martinsville Senior Center, 145 Paducah Drive, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. For more information, call the WCCOA, 455-3220.

Activities and lunch are provided to senior citizens and their families free of charge. Grandparents are encouraged to bring their children and grandchildren to enjoy the festivities on Senior Citizens Day. Bingo will be played from 10:30-11:45 a.m. with Friend Estep as the announcer. As always, the games are free and seniors will be playing for candy bar prizes.

After prayer, lunch will be served and door prizes given away from noon to 1 p.m. Lunch is provided by the senior citizens centers in the county. This year the menu will be homemade spaghetti, salad, rolls, and an assortment of desserts including a cake from Witschey’s in New Martinsville provided by the Town and Country Days board. Door prizes are donated by the local senior citizens centers and businesses in the community.

Just like the lunch, the entire senior citizens’ event is a collaborative effort with all of the senior citizens groups, the WCCOA, and Town and Country Days. “It takes all of us to do it together,” said Ash. Additionally, Town and Country Days President Merle Lemasters noted that Witschey’s of New Martinsville helps to sponsor much of the event.

This is the seventh year the event has had such a tone. In the past Town and Country Days had a special day for senior citizens and the WCCOA held a picnic for their seniors each September. But seven years ago they decided to work together on a combined event and the result has been very positive. “It started out with about 90 people and has grown to over 400!” said Ash. “It’s been very successful,” reiterated Lemasters.

After lunch seniors will be entertained by the gospel group, The Gracemen, and Joyful Puppets. The Gracemen, out of Barboursville, W.Va., have performed in New Martinsville several times at the Christmas Cantata. They are known for their strong vocal harmony, integrity, and passion for ministry. The Joyful Puppets are a troupe of puppeteers out of Bellaire, Ohio, owned and operated by Joyful Productions, a family entertainment company. Their shows are full of music, comedy, and interaction, and feature half-body puppets much like the kind seen on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. Additionally local balloon artist Miranda Stokes will twist free balloon creations for senior citizens and their families in attendance. After learning the skills of the trade from her father, Bill Stokes, Miranda has come into her own as a skilled and entertaining balloon artist and is currently building a small side business, By POPular Demand.

Organizers remind everyone the events are for every senior citizen at the fair that day, not just those who are part of the senior citizens groups, and it isn’t even restricted to those who live in Wetzel County. Also, all senior citizens age 65 and up are admitted to the fairgrounds free that day from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Other events at Town and Country Days on Aug. 12 include apple butter making, chainsaw demonstration, Bingo, Deshler Amusements, a talent show at 6:30 p.m., and the FFA/4-H auction and truck pulls at 7 p.m. “Senior Citizens Day is one of best senior citizens activities in the area and is always so well attended,” notes Lemasters. “This is a great day to share the memories of what’s happened over the past 50 years.”

Those who do not have transportation to the fair are welcome to ride a senior citizens’ van-two are handicap accessible. To arrange for transportation call the New Martinsville center, 455-3220; Pine Grove, 889-3333; or Hundred, 775-5344. The van service is free with no donations expected that day. Also, for those seniors who drive themselves and park in the fair’s lot, a van will be located there to take them directly to the Mollohan Center.

Also, the WCCOA is currently planning their annual trip to Blennerhassett Island in Parkersburg sometime in September.

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