Every weekday about 20 or so precious older people from around Russellville make their way to the Senior Center on Day Street.
They gather to play cards or games, work on jigsaw puzzles, share a meal and just enjoy one another’s company.
It may not sound like a big thing - but it is vitally important for these members of our community.
“I think this is what keeps me going,” said Louise Powell, who celebrated her 90th birthday at the center on Wednesday.
Powell has been going to the Senior Center from just about the day it opened 27 years ago. She says that having a place to go and be with other seniors is a blessing.
“If I wasn’t here, I’d just be sitting at home watching the walls,” Powell said. “That would just be depressing.”
So, instead she comes and plays games with her friends almost every weekday.
“They’re more than just my friends, really,” Powell said. “They’re more like another family - just like my church family is. This is just a blessing.”
Powell said that in her 27 years of visiting the Senior Center, she figures she has seen at least 100 members of that family - including some who actually were related to her - pass away.
Cheryl Kerchenski is the new director of the Senior Center and said she would love to see more seniors start coming and getting involved - especially this month, which has been designated as Older Americans Month.
“Being involved here gives our seniors a greater sense of purpose and a higher quality of life,” Kerchenski said.
All the funding for the center is government based. Rides are available for those that can’t make it out on their own and lunch is provided daily. A $1.50 donation is asked to help cover the cost of the meal.
“The only requirement is that you have to be 60 years or older,” Kerchenski said. “There is no income verification. Anyone and anyone who is a senior is can come out here and take part.”
In addition to the meal and social opportunities, the Senior Center also provides nutrition education, health services such as speakers, exercise and screening and transportation to centers, recreation and necessary shopping and medical appointments.