By Sherrie Norris
If anyone ever thought that the golden years were boring, chances are they’ve never stopped in at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone.
There’s always something happening at the center and there’s rarely a day when there’s not a lot of fun and excitement going on for the young at heart.
Regardless of the month of season, Director Billie Luster and her staff and volunteers always have a full slate of activities planned — parties, games, crafts, good food and fellowship – and that’s just the beginning.
Now through the end of the year is an especially busy time, Lister tells us, with not only recreation and entertainment available, but also a list of outreach and educational opportunities to keep seniors young in heart, mind, body and spirit.
Those who frequent the center know it’s the place to be to get the most out of life. Everything is centered around the noon congregate meals that offer nutritional and delicious food, with something to appease all interests and needs. Take a look at the upcoming events, free and open to the public, with a special invitation for seniors 60 and older to participate:
- Tuesday October 22, beginning at 9 a.m. a very informative Advance Life Directives Clinic will be held at no charge to interested individuals who might have been contemplating such an important decision. Anyone interested in making those end of life wishes known and completing their living will and healthcare power of attorney is welcome to attend. There is no need to register.
- From October 15 through December 7, the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center and Watauga County Project on Aging will offer free Medicare counseling during the open enrollment period. Anyone with Medicare part D or part C advantage plans should review their plan before open enrollment ends. If you need help understanding or reviewing your plan, please contact the SHIIP counselors at the Watauga County Project on Aging at (828) 265-8090 and ask for Billie Lister, who is also the SHIIP coordinator for Watauga County.
- Holiday Heroes Needed: Each year the Watauga County project on Aging joins with local agencies to identify senior citizens and disabled adults in our community that will have no family support for the holidays. Tags will be available beginning November 12 for community members to stop by the Watauga County Project on Aging to ‘adopt’ one of these individuals or to simply drop donations off which can be used to fulfill requests. The help and support of the community during the holiday seasons is appreciated and vital to making this possible. For more information please call Billie Lister at 828-265-8090.
- Halloween Murder Mystery Costume Party- The Lois E. Harrill senior center would like to invite all seniors aged 60 or older to come participate in its annual Halloween Murder Mystery Costume Party on October 31 from 10 a.m.-12 noon. Snacks, prizes and games will be offered. Costume contest winners will be awarded and registration is not required.
- Craft Fair- All community members are invited to stop by and shop for those unique Christmas gifts and the center’s annual craft fair, November 1- 6 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day. The money collected goes directly to the senior crafters and supports them in the pursuit of their hobby. This is a great opportunity to not only shop for holiday gifts, but to also meet the multi-talented crafters.
- Free Medicare 101 Seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12 and Thursday, December 12 at 2 p.m. each day. There is no need to register and anyone interested is welcome to attend. People nearing 65 or retirement, folks close to transitioning to Medicare, caregivers, or professionals are strongly encouraged to attend to learn more about Medicare.
- Free Health Fair: Community members age 60 — and caregivers of all ages — are invited to attend a free health fair on Wednesday November 13 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The health fair will feature many free health assessments such as blood pressure screening, vision and hearing assessment, balance screening, Hepatitis C screening, and more. In addition, there will be many free resources for participants. Pneumonia vaccines will be offered and requires you to pre-register if you need the vaccines.
- Free Emergency Preparedness Seminar: Community members are invited to attend a free educational seminar on emergency preparedness and response. The class will be Tuesday, November 26 at 11am. Registration is not required.
- Turkey Trot Party- All community members aged 60 or older are invited to join together for a Thanksgiving party on November 27 from 10 a.m.-12 noon. There is no cost to attend and registration is not required. There will be food, fun, and prizes.
- Cookie Baking Competition: The much anticipated annual cookie competition is back! All community members aged 60 or older are welcome to participate in this fun event on Friday, November 13 at 10 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the best tasting cookie and the best decorated cookie. Bakers are encouraged to call and register ahead of time.
- Free Holiday Party for Adults 60 or older: Community seniors are invited for a holiday party featuring food, fun, prizes, and reindeer games. The party will be Monday December 23 from 10 a.m.-12 noon. There is no need to register.
- New Year’s Eve Social: What better way to ring in the old and welcome the new than joining your senior peers at the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center for social interaction, cookies and cocoa. No need to register, just show up!
For more information or to register for the special events that require same, call, visit or email Billie Jo Lister, Lois E. Harrill Senior Center Director at Watauga County Project on Aging, 132 Poplar Grove Connector, Suite A in Boone. (828) 265-8090 ext. 895,