Seniors celebrate Christmas, look to 2018


Times Leader Staff Writer

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Hundreds of Belmont County’s senior citizens celebrated the Christmas season at the new senior center headquarters and common area located west of St. Clairsville along National Road near Ohio University Eastern.

According to Senior Services Director Gary Armitage, the organization looks forward to providing many more events and activities in 2018.

“We had 236 reserved attendees. We had well over 200 there,” Armitage said of the holiday celebration early this month. “It was really a well-oiled event for the first one that we actually did. We had a formal sit-down dinner, which is the first time we’ve ever been able to do that. We served right out of the kitchen so we could plate everything in the kitchen and take it out. It went over very well.”

He added that people who visit all of the county’s senior centers were invited.

“All 11 senior centers were represented there by the attendees. Everybody came,” he said, adding that the building will see more use in the future. “Everybody seemed to really have enjoyed the event, and we plan to do this annually. We’ll have other events during the year as well.

“For a number of them, it was the first time they’ve ever been in the building, and they were pretty impressed with the building,” he continued. “We scrambled for decorations this year. We’ll be in a little better shape next year, but we got everything together. We put a nice tree up.”

The event included a disc jockey and door prizes, bingo and other games.

“A good time was had by all,” Armitage said.

No events to celebrate the new year are planned due to cold weather issues, but the center will continue to play a part in community life for Belmont County’s senior citizens.

“It’s starting to turn cold, and we’re starting to get snow. Things will die down as far as trips are concerned. We are going to be holding a major event in May, which is National Older Americans Month,” Armitage said. “We’ll be doing more and more monthly stuff at the building. We’re going to have educational speakers there, and we’ll be serving lunch during that.”

Armitage added that transportation was provided to seniors going to the Christmas celebration.

“I actually had some of my medical transport drivers driving vehicles to get the center participants in, but we still have a lot of center participants who drive themselves, and even the Barnesville VFW provided a van and brought some people out,” he said.


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