The best news last week in South Georgia centers around a group of well-deserving citizens. And good news it is!
When Baconton Mayor Annette Morman ran for office, she made a promise to do everything within her power to provide senior citizens with activities. Morman was elected as the first female mayor for the small Mitchell County town during a special election in mid-March of 2011. By September, the program for senior citizens became a reality. Morman began a program which invited senior citizens to drop by twice a week for a variety of programs including, but not limited to, arts and crafts, Bible study, exercise classes, sewing, games and food. Trips have been taken to the farmers market in Thomasville, the Flint RiverQuarium, the Albany Mall, the Civil Rights Institute and to see a movie. Various volunteers speak once each month on subjects of interest. Last week, Mayor Morman and a host of other folks celebrated the program’s one year anniversary, now located in the community’s old library building. Over the course of the first year, more than 2,000 have been counted in attendance. When consideration is given to the fact that Baconton has a population of just over 900 total, that is an amazing turnout. Thank you, Mayor Morman, for caring about the people of your community and for actually keeping a campaign promise.
It was to a full house at Phoebe East that a seminar was held last week to inform senior citizens, as well as their family members and caregivers, of the rights that belong to the aging population. It is an unfortunate truth that those that have lived long often become targets for all sorts of abuse. Among the issues discussed at the forum were neglect, physical abuse, scamming and fraud. Seniors sometimes aren’t even aware of financial theft until it becomes a serious issue and more times than not, are afraid or ashamed or simply unwilling to report problems. Hopefully those in attendance went away with a renewed sense of importance and the belief that there are people that can and will help them in difficult times. Keep an eye out for the elderly in your family, neighborhood and church as they deserve to live as comfortably and peacefully as anyone else-maybe even more so.
When Kay Hind went to work for the SOWEGA Council on Aging in 1968, she was a long way from being eligible for the services provided by that agency. Now, 44 years later, Hind is still a spry lady and one with a longtime dream just about to come true. A couple of dozen years into her work with senior citizens, Hind began talking about a new center that could serve that population and she never gave up on that dream. In the very, very near future Hind plans to call a press conference to announce a formal groundbreaking of the Life Enrichment Center. In addition to becoming home to SOWEGA Council on Aging, the facility will be available for groups and organizations to hold functions. There will be space for 500 people, a commercial kitchen, a gymnasium and much more. This plan did not come to fruition overnight and it has taken a lot of fundraising and penny-pinching to get this far. Ribbon-cutting on the new center should be about 18 months in the future, not so long for someone that has waited 20 years already. Albany residents, young and old, owe a lot to Kay Hind and her unwavering belief in this project. This “Thumbs Up” is for you, fine lady.