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The golden years shine

By: Lacy Hilliard
Freelance Writer/Photographer

The Johnson County Senior Center may cater to the regions elders but when you enter the facility you quickly realize, “this isn’t your grandmothers senior center.” In one corner, men can be seen shooting pool while on the other side of the partition, participants are being led in a low impact exercise class. In the common area the ladies socialize while reading The Tomahawk or snacking on popcorn.

Many of the various activities, meals and services are provided to seniors of the Johnson County community free of charge. The calendar for the month of September offers more than many senior centers offer in an entire year. Quilting, sing-along’s, line dancing, picnics, shopping and a trip to Mt. Rushmore are just a few of the activities offered this month through the Johnson County Senior Center. The calendar offers something for every interest, income, and level of mobility.
It’s clear that the Johnson County Senior Center staff cares deeply about its members. For each problem a senior citizen may face, the center offers a solution. One of the biggest problems for senior residents is transportation. The Johnson County Senior Center provides transportation not only to and from the center, but also throughout town. Van driver Terry Hodge goes above and beyond the call of duty each day as he transports senior residents to and from the facility stopping for hair appointments, groceries, or any other need his passengers may have. The ladies of the center seem to favor Hodge’s gentle nature and he certainly plays the role, referring to his female passengers as his “girlfriends.” Hodge has many “girlfriends” and the need for transportation is always growing. Currently the center has two vans so that even if one breaks down; there will never be a time when the center cannot provide transportation. The vans are also used to deliver meals to many homebound seniors. However, one of the vans is reaching retirement age and the center staff members are currently focusing their effort on something else that is a constant need –fundraising.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of The Tomahawk.