The Citizens Center was rocking to the beat of hits from the â€™50s and â€™60s Thursday afternoon as around 150 residents of Lincoln Countyâ€™s senior living centers participated in the 2011 Residentsâ€™ Rights celebration.
The theme for this yearâ€™s celebration was â€œWelcome Home,â€ symbolizing making a connection between residents and the community. Each adult-care facility designed name tags for its residents and table decorations for their tables that portrayed the theme.
It was Alma Taylorâ€™s first time to the celebration. â€œI absolutely love this place and the event,â€ said Taylor, a resident of Bailey Springs.
Mary Ingle of Heath House has attended the event two times and said she loves it more each year she participates.
Joe Mannino of Denver provided smooth vocals as the eventâ€™s entertainer, accompanied by bassist Dave McNulty. Dressed in white dinner jackets and black bow ties, the duo delivered an anthology of hits from the 50s and 60s.
Mannino settled in Lincoln County 36 years ago upon being discharged from the United States Marine Corps as a disabled veteran.
â€œI came to love North Carolina while stationed at Jacksonville, so when I got out, I decided to settle down here,â€ Mannino said. McNulty is a Lincoln County native.
The group of seniors came alive when Mannino and McNulty cranked up the music for Chubby Checkerâ€™s â€œThe Twist,â€ with several getting up in the aisles to join in the familiar dance from 1960.
Mannino also crooned other familiar tunes such as â€œSmoke Gets in Your Eyesâ€ and â€œUnder the Boardwalk.â€
Lincoln County has participated in the annual event for 19 years. Regional Ombudsman Cindy Kincaid of the Centralina Area Agency on Aging explained the purpose of the event.
â€œWeâ€™re here to celebrate these residents and what they did for the Lincoln community as well as what they are still able to do,â€ Kincaid said.
As Regional Ombudsman, Kincaid supports Lincoln, Gaston and Iredell County adult care home residents. The agency promotes and protects the rights of residents living in nursing and adult care homes. Working with volunteers who visit the facilities routinely throughout the year, they resolve grievances and concerns of residents and promote the prevention of elder abuse. They also educate the public on long-term care placement issues.
The agency encourages and needs additional volunteers. Currently, there are only six volunteers in Lincoln County: Sheldon Lutz, Evelyn Gregory, Tanis Lanier, Melissa Harrison, Julia Gaskill and Melva Parrott-Eddy. Volunteers are appointed by the County Commissioners.
â€œA volunteer needs to have about six hours a month available to go out and visit the homes,â€ Kincaid said.
Want to get involved?
If you would like to volunteer with the Centralina Area Agency on Aging, contact Amy Atkins at (704) 736-8473.
MARTHA K. SEAGLE, Staff Writer