It has been a crazy week but a good week, we’ve had on the radio show John Jurchack talking about falls and how to avoid them, Don Peeler talking about Crystal Springs, a no step community, we talked with Teepa Snow and Joe Seidel and all of this has been about being healthy at home and staying active.
Our entire theme that we’ve been doing this March has been leading into springtime and getting outside. And so today we are going to talk about getting really active and staying that way.
We’re going to talk ‘Senior Olympics.’
The ‘Senior Games’ brings seniors together to train, strut their stuff, be active and compete just like the regular Olympics. I certainly hope I can stay active enough to participate in the ‘Senior Games’ at some time.
Joining me to help with this is Angela Padgett, who is director of the Leona Neal Senior Center in Shelby NC and helps to organize the ‘Senior Games.’
I have given everyone a brief introduction but it would be great to get down to the real muscle of the Senior Games so please let everyone know who you are and what you do and then we’re going to talk about some raffle tickets.
Good, well I’m Angela Padgett, I’m the senior center director at the council of aging Neal Senior Center in Shelby. I’m also a part of the senior center directors position, I’m the local games coordinator for the Cleveland County Senior Games. I do a hodge podge of things with the senior center.
Before we get into ‘Senior Games’ this morning let’s just be clear. ‘Senior Games is not just Cleveland County, we’re talking in nearly every county aren’t they?
They are in nearly every county in the state. It’s ‘Senior Olympics.’ Each county that participates they have local games, local games coordinators, and those folks that win first place in their divisions, there is a slew of games, if they win in pickle ball, they go on to the state finals in October and play for first place in the championship division, and they can get first place in the state, and we have had people in our area who do that.
It’s a huge event every year. Glory Livingston who is actually my assistant, we go to training every year and we meet these folks you know from other counties, and you’d be surprised, say Cabarras County for instance, they have over 300 participants every year. So it’s a big deal, not only for our county but for the state.
Well how many do we have in Cleveland County?
Right now we have 54 participants that have signed up. Of course the deadline has ended but every now and then we might have somebody who doesn’t have a partner and for exception we will let them come in and play but right now we have 54 participants.
But that is the senior games side, there are two parts to senior games. There are the games, which is the Senior Olympics and then there is the Civil Arts which we just completed. Now Civil Arts side there was 32 participants so for the whole Senior Games, we have had over 80 people participate.
It’s kind of confusing there but there are 2 parts to senior games and again we just finished the civil arts side. The civil arts side is your artists, your writers, your dancers, and we just held the Performing Arts Follies at the senior center last week, and our best in show winner which is the ‘Silver Stars,’ it’s a dance group, they are going to go on to the state finals in October, so it’s a huge deal for our county and a lot of people still don’t know about it.
We want to promote the games.
Absolutely, and if they have got 300 in Cabarras County and we’ve got 54 we need to step it up. Every county should have 300 shouldn’t they?
They should but I’ll tell you Cabarras County secret, and the same in Gaston, they actually allow folks from other counties to come in and play. So they do have more folks simply because they allow other counties to come in. Cleveland County we don’t do that.
We used to, we actually used to combine with Lincoln County but the powers at be at the time decided it would fair to our players if we would let only Cleveland County residents play.
But to be honest with you, you’re right about stepping up, because there are a lot of people in Cleveland County. We’re looking at Boiling Springs and Kings Mountain and Shelby and Casar and we could get 300 people in Cleveland County ourselves if people would come out and participate. But it’s the knowledge in your head of thinking you’re someone over 50, and some people might think, why I can’t do that.
Do you have to be a tiptop Olympic shape athlete?
No you don’t, for instance, if you shoot pool, we have billiards as part of one of our events. You don’t have to be in shape to play pool, you just have to have a keen eye and know what you’re doing. If you’re out there and you’re a good pool player, you could come and play and could go to state with billiards.
Football toss, it’s not hard, you may need to have a good arm but we have a gentleman named Bill Young who is 98 years old, and I talk about him all the time. He was one of our state finalists for pickle ball. 98 years old.
Now you just mentioned the magic word, pickle ball. It looks like a lot of fun. I guess this is on a court about the size of a tennis court, played with a big ping pong paddle and plastic riffle type balls.
It is and you can actually go to certain sporting goods stores who have pickle ball sets, so if you ever decide you want to put something like that in your backyard, or even on your drive way, you can.
But how do you get the pickle to bounce?
I don’t know.
So I have a quiz for everyone. Here it is.
1 In what city and country was the first ‘Olympic Games’ held?
2 What year was the first ‘Olympic Games’ held?
The senior center has a raffle coming up. Tell us about the raffle.
It does, a big one. Well we’re very excited in the fact that I don’t believe any non profit in the county has given away this much money.
I think it’s a great opportunity, what are the odds?
1 in 400.
I mean that’s pretty good odds.
Exactly and if folks are interested we’re selling raffle tickets for reverse drawing, the tickets are $100 a piece, with 400 tickets sold, we’re giving away $20’000 dollars.
There are people still selling tickets, I’m still selling tickets, I’ve got 5 left. We’ve got board members selling and if you know anyone who is interested in buying a ticket we do have 50 right now at the senior center.
Why should I buy a ticket, why does this matter? I want to win some money of course but I want to support a good cause.
Well the senior center is a good cause and again folks 50 and over are considered seniors in Cleveland County. Our senior center does a lot for seniors. We promote health and we promote participation, socialization, fellowship and we have a huge services department that if folks are hungry we give them food, if they need meals on wheels we help them get set up for meals on wheels. You’d be surprised at the folks in this area that are hungry, and we help them. If we can’t help them we refer them to someone who can, that’s another part of our services department.
We have a kitchen that we actually run a restaurant out of, to bring money into the senior center, but we need help, we need help to keep our senior center going. We are not a county maintained business, we are a private non-profit.
You have to pay the rent.
We have to pay the rent. We have a building that we owe over 300’000 dollars for that we need to get paid off.
What else could we do if we paid that off?
Good gracious, the sky’s the limit on what we would be able to do. Right now we don’t have funding for home repairs, we used to have funding to send people in to clean folks houses so they could stay in their home and not have to move onto a nurses facility.
We talked about Meals on Wheels also.
Meals on Wheels, and I’m glad you brought that up. Meals on Wheels is very important for our county but unfortunately we have a waiting list for Meals on Wheels. We have over 50 people on the waiting list, that’s 50 people that are hungry that need food, and unfortunately because of our waiting list they can’t get put on right away. And if we were able to pay that building off, there would be no waiting list. It costs $1800 a year to supply one person with a years worth of food.
So one way you could (out there) help do that and help and participate and be eligible to win up to $20’000 is to enter the raffle. It’s $100 per ticket.
And you can buy these tickets with other people if you like. So 4 people can put in to buy a $100 dollar ticket and split the winnings.
So just to finish up, the ‘Senior Olympic Games,’ if anyone wants to participate, who do they contact, where do they come, if they just want to watch, tell me what they do?
We do have a schedule that’s posted online at Nealseniorcenter.org.
The games are going to start opening ceremonies on April 11th at 9.00am at Spangler Stadium at Gardner Webb. They are welcome to come to that. We have games all day long at Gardner Webb and then we move on to Shelby City Park.
If you do have internet and want to come out to watch, go online for a schedule or call me at 704-482-3488 and I’ll be glad to mail you a schedule. You can also come by the senior center and pick a schedule up but we are going to be playing from April 11th on up to April 15th. The majority of the places we will be playing at is Gardner Webb, the Neal Senior Center and Shelby City Park. You can also go to these places, especially Shelby City Park and get a schedule from Mrs Dee Green.
So come on out to play, come on out to watch. It’s important to stay active throughout your life.
Exactly, that’s what it’s all about.
If you want to buy raffle tickets, I need to sell mine so call my office 704-259-7040 for your raffle ticket to win up to $20’000 to support the Neal Senior Center.
And just to give the answers to the quiz earlier, the first ‘Olympic Games’ was held in 776 BC, and the marathon is 26 miles 385 yards. That is the distance between Athens Greece and Marathon, and it was to honor the run of Pheidippides (Phillipedes) during a great war (490BC) he was a messenger and he ran for 26 miles 385 yards.
So just a little bit of history you can pick up on the Elder Law blog. I’m Greg McIntyre, get outside and have a great day.
Call me if you have any questions:
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street, Shelby