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Center celebrates Older Americans Month

COVINGTON - In celebration of Older Americans Month, Newton County Senior Services is hosting a variety of activities for local senior citizens and the community at large throughout the month of May at Turner Lake Complex.

"This year's theme is 'Living Today for a Better Tomorrow' and reflects our continued focus on prevention efforts and programs throughout our county and country that are helping older adults to sustain better lives. We're also appealing to the community for donations and volunteers for these events," said Freda Reed, senior services activities coordinator.

The fun kicks off at 10 a.m. Friday with the annual Chairman/Mayor's Walk.

Seniors will compete against each other for prizes, walking distances ranging from .5 miles to 2 miles. Seniors can compete with canes or walkers or without.

The event is open to the public.

As is tradition, Newton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kathy Morgan and Covington Mayor Kim Carter will participate. This year, the officials are aiming to make the event more entertaining: Carter has challenged Morgan to see who can walk the farthest.

Weather permitting, the walk will take place outside at Turner Lake Park, but if it rains, it will be held inside the complex.

The celebration of Older Americans Month will continue with a bake-off at 10 a.m. Monday. Seniors will compete to see who bakes the most scrumptious desserts. Judges are needed for the event.

Only seniors can participate, but the public can stop by and purchase desserts following the bake-off.

Seniors will be raising money to benefit programs at the center with the Rock-A-Thon for Senior Awareness from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 21, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 22.

They will be asking friends, family and acquaintances to donate money based on time spent rocking: donations are $5 for 15 minutes; $10 for 30 minutes; $15 for 45 minutes; and $20 for one hour.

"It all goes back to our activities fund. The only way we can sponsor any type of activity is through donations," Reed said.

The month-long celebration will culminate on May 29, with the annual Tri-County Picnic, where seniors from several nearby counties will join together for food, games and entertainment. That event is for members of the Senior Center only.

Reed said all of the events are meant to make the community aware that local seniors are still active participants in life.

"They're still vibrant. They're out here, and they're ready to do any and everything," Reed said.

On average, the Senior Center serves about 80 people per day, and as many as 200 per day participate in at least one activity, such as walking or ceramics class, Reed said.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Senior Center should make a check payable to Newton County Senior Services and send it to P.O. Box 466, Covington, GA 30015.

Donations may also be made specifically for Older Americans Month, to pay for trophies and T-shirts the seniors will receive.

For questions or more information, call 770-787-0038.