Baconton to celebrate senior program's anniversary

BACONTON, Ga. -- When Baconton Mayor Annette Morman ran for office, she told voters in the small Mitchell County community she would do everything she could to ensure activities for senior citizens.

True to her word, Morman kicked off a senior citizen program at City Hall in the historic Jackson Davis House, inviting older citizens to drop in twice a week for food, arts and crafts, Bible study and other activities.

Morman's program celebrates its first anniversary Friday, and the energetic mayor says interest is higher than ever.

"This program has been great during its first year, but I expected it to," Morman said as she prepared for a program to mark the anniversary. "We're a very close-knit community down here, and we take care of each other."

The program, which is funded completely through donations, has had more than 2,000 participants at its weekly Tuesday and Friday meetings, sometimes drawing as many as 27 area seniors a session to Baconton. The meetings have been moved from the Jackson Davis House to the community's old library building, but Morman said that hasn't impacted attendance.

"If anybody doesn't have a ride, they just call and someone picks them up," she said.

During the first year of the program, participants have visited the Civil Rights Institute, Flint RiverQuarium, Albany Mall and Winnsong 16 Cinema in Albany. The group has also taken a trip to the farmers market in Thomasville. Twenty-five-year Baconton City Council member Tim Pinson, who owns Mitchell County Transit, has provided bus transportation for group outings.

During program meetings, participants play games, take part in arts and crafts activities, exercise, listen to once-monthly speakers and take part in Bible study. Physical trainer John C. Newkirk of Albany conducts Bible study, and leads exercise and nutrition programs.

Items such as quilts, pillow coverings and preserves made by program participants will be on display during Friday's celebration, which takes place at 10 a.m. at City Hall. Kay Hind of the SOWEGA Council on Aging will be the speaker at the event.

The celebration is open to the public, and seniors from throughout the area are invited to take part in the senior program.