Southport seniors have a lot to look forward to. This weekend is the grand opening of a new senior center in town; something they say is very much needed.
“We have been needing it for 30 or 40 years. And we’ve been operating out of a little hut down by the gym and now we have this beautiful facility,” said senior center member Irene Hankins.
The 7,000 seniors in the greater Southport area have a new place to hang out – The Brunswick Center – thanks to state and federal funds, donations, and an agency called Brunswick Senior Resources Incorporated.
Director Jim Russell said, “The facilities that we were operating out of were so inadequate that we were only scratching the surface of service.”
The 13,000 square foot facility is also equipped with a computer lab, library, lounge, and dining area. There are also all sorts of classes seniors can take, like Swedish weaving and crocheting.
Ella Hill teaches yoga and a drum class called “Health Rhythms”. “It gives you a workout and it makes you laugh and we do silly rhythms and we say positive things on our drums like in affirmation.”
Other than a small fee for classes, membership is free. The members said they are glad to have a place to make friends.
“So many of us live alone and this is one of the few places we can go and find a friendly face and hear somebody say, ‘I love you’,” said Hankins.
The new senior center in Southport has been open since August. The grand-opening celebration takes place Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
When the economy picks back up, Brunswick Senior Resources Incorporated plans to open similar senior centers in Leland, Shallotte, Calabash, and Supply.