Nearly 100 Lincoln County seniors gathered at Betty G. Ross Park in Lincolnton on Friday to commemorate the local Senior Center’s “Older Americans Celebration.”
The event recognizes the month of May being “Older Americans Month,” Senior Center Director Marti Hovis said.
The event commenced with awarding a trophy to the oldest man and woman on hand — R.A. Sigmon, 89, and Ermitrude Mullen, 93.
Lincolnton Mayor John Gilleland and County Manager Tracy Jackson also attended the event, presenting an Older Americans Proclamation.
North Carolina Rep. Jason Saine served as the affair’s “distinguished guest.”
Following a brief history of the special day and a singing of the National Anthem, by Senior Games gold medalist Logene Solberg, participants dispersed throughout the park and William Lentz Recreation Center to fellowship and play games such as cornhole, bean bag toss, basketball, badminton and football throw.
Volunteers from various community organizations, including Home Instead Senior Care, Department of Social Services, the Brian Center and Catawba Regional Hospice, assisted with the event.
Even wheelchair-bound polio survivor Teresa Morgan, of Lincolnton, enjoyed attending the senior gathering.
Often confined to the indoors during the winter season, due to increased pain throughout her body, Morgan takes every opportunity she gets to dwell outside in warmer weather.
“I’m thankful I was able to come out,” she said.
George and Valeria Casey said they attended the celebration to also meet fellow seniors and stay active.
“It keeps you young and in shape,” George Casey said laughingly. “We need to keep moving.”
He particularly enjoyed shooting hoops and remembering his early days as a teen athlete.
“It takes me back to high school when I played basketball,” he said.
The Lincolnton couple also participated in the annual Senior Games, which takes place in Gaston County every spring but includes a number of Lincoln County contestants.
Friday’s celebration included recognition of this year’s local winners.
According to Hovis, Lincoln County residents received a total of 53 gold medals, 47 silver medals and 27 bronzes.
But she didn’t fail to congratulate everyone who took part in the special games.
“Everyone who participated is a winner,” Hovis said. “It makes them more healthy, and they have fun.”