Seniors got together to enjoy two days of fun and games

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thursday and Friday senior citizens participated in the third annual senior games hosted by the Senior Center of South Pearl River County.

The two-day event provided participants with the opportunity to compete in a variety of events, which also serves as a fundraiser for the center to cover operational expenses.

David Sykes, executive director of the center, said about 30 people participated in the first day of the event and more showed up for the second.

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Sykes said since its inception, seniors have expressed excitement in the opportunity to compete and win prizes.

That enthusiasm has the staff considering holding similar events throughout the year, but it would require the investment of more equipment, he said.

Competitors arrived dressed in senior games themed T-shirts as they prepared to show their prowess in the events, including bean bag baseball, cornhole, darts, horseshoes, one mile fast walk, track and field and Wii bowling.

Awards were issued to winning participants in individual and team based events. Those who placed first through third were recognized at the “Celebration of Athletes Luncheon,” held Friday.

Gordon Abbott participated in several events but his archery skills earned him first place in that event.

Abbott said the senior games give community members that visit the facility a reason to be more active, which is something many look forward to.

According to coverage of last year’s competition, the center raised $4,500. This year the center raised about $5,000, Sykes said.

Dr. Eddie Smith, president of the Senior Center’s Board of Directors, said he enjoyed seeing the seniors being active and enjoying themselves.

Smith said participation in this year’s event increased. Plans are already in place to hold the event annually.

“I encourage more seniors to come out and get involved,” Smith said.

Several seniors participating for the first time said they had a great time interacting with others in the spirit of fun and games.

First time participant Carolyn Maronge said although she had been a visitor of the senior center for the past three years, it was her first time participating in the senior games.

Maronge said the event gave her a chance to mingle with other members of the center. At the end of the event, winners in each category were awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal. Several door prizes were also given to participants.