2017-08-24 / Front Page

Community, fellowship, bingo make atmosphere seem like family at the Roy Burns Senior Center

By JANE ELLYN AARON
news editor


James Cofer has a good laugh over a game of bingo. James Cofer has a good laugh over a game of bingo. At the Roy L. Burns Senior Center the words that can most often be heard reverberating between the chatty, but jovial visitors include “friend,” “community,” “fellowship,” and, yes, even “bingo!” As the care facility specializes in creating a welcoming environment, the senior citizens of Wilkes County do the rest of the work by congregating together to play games, tinker with a variety of projects, or just sit a spell and talk, resulting in an atmosphere that feels like a family reunion.

“I like coming up here because I get a chance to meet up with my friends, play bingo, and I’m currently learning new things on the computer,” Geraldine Ware said.

Recently, the Senior Center was donated several used computers thanks to the Regional Commission of Augusta, and coupled with an activities specific grant from the Agency on Aging, regulars at the facility are now able to not only learn new skills on the computer, but are also able to browse the internet, read up on the most recent happenings in the news, and explore other recreational options.


Senior Center driver Alline Crew, case worker Shirley Berry, and active guest Mozelle Doughty enjoy an afternoon together at the facility. Senior Center driver Alline Crew, case worker Shirley Berry, and active guest Mozelle Doughty enjoy an afternoon together at the facility. Naturally, though, the pièce de résistance and highlight to both the beginning and end of everyone’s week is bingo.

“Sometimes I call out the bingo, that’s one of our biggest activities, and we have it every Monday and Thursday,” Mozelle Doughty, a spunky seven-year veteran to the center, explained. “They give out all sorts of things that we can use in our house, like paper towels, dish detergent, that sort of thing. People should take advantage of what we have here, because they can save on their lights and gas and come here instead to visit with other people.”


Elizabeth Jones and and Geraldine Ware gear up for a competitive morning of bingo at the Roy L. Burns Senior Center. Elizabeth Jones and and Geraldine Ware gear up for a competitive morning of bingo at the Roy L. Burns Senior Center. With bingo cards spread across every table, arms stretch at the ready to rapidly cover the called numbers, and noses nearly pressed to the boards in a constant scan of the sometimes five-card spread, nary a soul seems to miss a chance to play in the bi-weekly competition.

Of course, bingo is far from being the only outlet of entertainment provided to guests of the Senior Center.

“We do all sorts of things. We do crafts – we’ve made pillows, quilts, dresses, jewelry, we made wreaths for Christmas, and we made birdhouses,” Doughty said, pointing out a nearby closet full of sewing machines and an abundance of craft supplies.

On occasion, the seniors are even treated to shopping trips, having travelled to Athens, Augusta, and Elberton most recently.


Emmitt Ashley proudly shows of the birdhouse he built as one of the craft activities scheduled at the Roy L. Burns Senior Center. Emmitt Ashley proudly shows of the birdhouse he built as one of the craft activities scheduled at the Roy L. Burns Senior Center. Although, a typical week at the center includes the aforementioned activities Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. If someone is unable to travel to and from the Senior Center themselves, transportation is provided, and before they return home to finish the rest of their day, they’re also always provided a nutritious meal.

As constant laughter and smiles ensue from both the visitors and the staff at the Senior Center, the result is naturally that of kinship.

Elizabeth Jones agreed, saying, “I just recently started coming up here, but I did it so that I could visit with other people, and its a way for me to get out of the house for a bit.”


Edward Crew looks up the day’s news on the recently donated computers at the Roy L. Burns Senior Center. The computers have made it possible for Crew and other visitors to learn new skills by operating the machines. Edward Crew looks up the day’s news on the recently donated computers at the Roy L. Burns Senior Center. The computers have made it possible for Crew and other visitors to learn new skills by operating the machines. Like Jones, the general consensus adamantly insists that while the creative variety of activities is a wonderful part of their day, enjoying each others company is the best part about their excursions to the center.



Mozelle Doughty diligently searches for the winning bingo combination. Mozelle Doughty diligently searches for the winning bingo combination.

Return to top