In several days, the Garland Senior Center will be filled with community members having fun and while honoring the contributions of trailblazers.
Seniors and organizations throughout the United States are celebrating Older Americans Month during the month of May. Garland is hosting a celebration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at the senior building, 91 Church St., Garland.It will include live entertainment, games, music and a cakewalk, with about 30 homemade desserts. Refreshments will be served. All seniors and community members throughout the county are welcome to attend.
“It’s all free,” said Marie Faircloth, director of the center, said about admission. “They just have to come, enjoy and have fun. It’s all about celebrating our older people.”
In addition to fun activities, the event will also feature health vendors and educational booths for attendees.
“They get to learn a lot about what’s going on around them,” Faircloth said.
The purpose is to celebrate the contributions of seniors. For 2016, the theme is “Blaze a Trail,” which emphasizes ways older adults are reinventing themselves through work, passions and community involvement.
“I think it’s important to celebrate seniors because we know that seniors hold the key to the past like the young folks holding the key to the future,” Faircloth said. “We think it’s important to showcase our seniors and let people know how much wisdom and knowledge they have that can be shared with us.”
She added that seniors are still “blazing a trail.”
“Some of them are still working and are volunteers in the community,” Faircloth said.
Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the observance began in 1963. It gives residents the opportunity to learn about their contributions and how to support older citizens. About 80 percent of older Americans have at least one chronic health condition.
According to ACL, more than 20 percent of Americans will be of retirement age by 2029. Also, the ACL is encouraging Americans to prepare financially. Financial exploitation is believed to cost seniors about $3 billion annually, officials say.
A proclamation was made by President Barack Obama for the celebration, which states that older Americans have helped ensure that the founding promise of the country remain within reach for their children and grandchildren. He also stated that their individual narratives reflect the “extraordinary history of our Nation.”
“This month, we celebrate our Nation’s older citizens, and we show our appreciation for all they have done to enrich our communities and drive America forward.
“Older Americans have unique knowledge and a breadth of insights that are tremendous assets to our country — and our seniors are eager to impart the wisdom learned from their experiences,” Obama said. “Across our country, older Americans work and volunteer in their community, challenging younger American’s ambitions for what they can hope to achieve in their golden years. We must maximize the contributions of our seniors and ensure they have the resources and support they need too thrive and to keep shaping the future of the country they love.”
For more information or to make a contribution to the event, contact Faircloth at 910-529-3931 or 910-596-8246.
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