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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Center busy place for seniors
More programs, activities are being added
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Photo by Stacey Hairston: The Essig Recreation Center is chock full of activities for seniors these days, and the number is growing.

Monday, April 28, 2014


The Essig Recreation Center is a busy place, and the Franklin County Department of Aging is has announced even more summer programs and activities coming to its new facility.

The center, formerly the Essig Center part of the Franklin County YMCA, is now being used as a center for senior citizens and indoor recreation.

It is also being used as a program space for Franklin County Parks and Recreation.

With the senior population, age 65 and older, expected to grow by 50 percent between 2010 and 2030, the facility is now handling all the aging services programs in a building that is totally accessible and has all the amenities needed, including the ability to have congregate meals.

With the space and amenities at the Essig Recreation Center, a number of new programs, activities and events have been added to the schedule.

They include:

•Chair Yoga - An eight-week course beginning May 29 from 2:10 to 3:10 p.m., for those with disabilities, weight challenges, inflexibility or an inability to participate in floor yoga. A chair replaces the yoga mat. Cost is $40. Deadline for May 29 to July 17 classes is May 22. Deadline for Aug. 7 to Sept. 25 classes is July 31.

•Senior Wellness Exercise - A six-week course beginning June 30 from 10 to 11 a.m. Join Carilion registered nurse and personal fitness instructor Gail Nordhaus to explore wellness potential through exercise and discussion. Cost is $10. Deadline to register is June 23.

•Creative Writing - A six-week course beginning Tuesday, July 22 from 1 to 2 p.m. Pulitzer Prize nominated instructor Charles Shea LeMone will teach students techniques guaranteed to enable their writing to become more graphic and emotionally compelling. No cost to students. Deadline to register is July 15.

•A Mother's Day Tea will take place Friday, May 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wear your favorite hat. Hot tea and light finger foods will be hosted by the Center and fellow seniors. Register by May 2.

•The annual Older American's Day celebration will take place Monday, May 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with mother-daughter duo Aspen and Alice Black hosting a Western Sing-along. Wear your best western outfit for a chance to win a door prize. A STEP sponsored meal will be served after the performance. Register by May 7.

•A health information resource expo will take place Wednesday, June 4 from 3 to 6 p.m. to inform seniors of the resources available to them in the community. Register to win door prizes.

•The first annual Franklin County Senior Prom kicks off Friday, June 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. for seniors 50 and up. The dance will feature music from The SaxyKeys, featuring 50s, 60s and 70s style music. Light refreshments will be served. A king and queen will also be crowned. Cost is $10 per person.

•A trip to Walton's Mountain is planned for Friday, July 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a tour of the Walton's Mountain Museum and a lunch (dutch treat) at Lovingston Cafe. Cost is $20. Register by July 11.

•A Potluck Luau will take place Friday, Aug. 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring a summer-inspired dish and enjoy luau-themed games.

Current and ongoing programs available at the facility include:

•Frank Cauley Band - The first Thursday of every month from 11 a.m. to noon.

•Senior Scholars - The first Tuesday of every month from 10-11 a.m., a book club for meeting like-minded people and enjoying a good discussion.

•Board Game Battles - The first Friday of every month from 1-3 p.m., a board game free-for-all testing skills against fellow opponents at games of Scrabble, Monopoly, Checkers or UNO. Bring a friend.

•Senior Buddy Program - The last Friday of every month from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., a special time set aside to read to young children in the county. To sign up, contact the Department of Aging at (540) 483-9238.

•Senior Check-In Program - For those needing an occasional well-being check in call. Sign up at the center by calling (540) 483-9238.

•Senior Bowling - The first Wednesday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m., meet at Rocky Mount Bowling Center to enjoy a little competitive exercise. Senior discount covers $2 games as well as free shoe rental.

•Potluck Bingo! - The second Tuesday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring a dish to share, a drink for yourself and try to win a grab bag prize.

•Senior Lunch Bunch - The third Tuesday of every month from noon to 1 p.m., come and enjoy food, fun and fellowship. Lunch is Dutch treat (meal on your own). Register by calling (540) 483-9238 the Tuesday before so that arrangements can be made at the hosting restaurant.

Volunteers are needed to lead the Senior Buddy Program. The Department of Aging is also looking for certified instructors for ballroom, swing and line dancing classes.

Anyone interested in registering for or leading any of the upcoming or ongoing activities or having an idea for another activity should contact Amanda Carter at the Department of Aging at (540) 352-5152.

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