The Effingham County Senior Center held the ribbon cutting for its new game room on Thursday afternoon in Springfield.
Several seniors were on hand for the event and many tried out the games. County commission Chairwoman Verna Phillips and County Administrator Ed Williams also attended.
The new facility features a pool table, ping-pong table, bull’s-eye ball, air hockey, foosball, shuffleboard, a bowling game and arcade basketball, not to mention numerous table games such as dominoes, bingo and puzzles.
When asked if she likes the new room, Sarah Schrader spoke for many there.
“Yes, it’s wonderful,” she replied.
Schrader tried out the bowling game and foosball, while Willie Tebeau took a stab at playing pool.
“I always wanted the chance to play pool,” said the 97-year-old. “I’ve always loved to play games; this is what keeps me young.”
Even the employees of the center were glad to see the new facility.
“I like most games,” said Valerie Wright, who works in the kitchen at the center. “I love basketball.”
She stood on the sideline, but took pleasure in seeing the seniors enjoy themselves.
According to director Margaret Moore the facility was paid for by the county and was built with inmate labor.
“They did a fantastic job,” Moore exclaimed about the inmates.
The games and furnishings were paid for by donations. Construction began on the new game room in March and it was completed in May.
“We needed it,” noted assistant director Angela Bragg.
Moore explained that the center was running out of room for the seniors to play games.
Besides the growth, the games are also in keeping with the center’s mission of promoting good health.
“We like to keep them as active as we can,” Bragg said.
Nutrition and wellness are the two main priorities of the facility and physical activity is a part of wellness, noted Moore. The games not only help the seniors to become more active, they have added benefits such as hand-eye coordination, as well.
Most importantly, perhaps, the seniors just love to play them.
“This is gonna be nice,” Tebeau said. We’re gonna really enjoy it.”
Moore is certain they will.
“That room will get a lot of use.”
The Effingham County Senior Center is located off Laurel Avenue on Stillwell Road in Springfield. For more information call Moore at 754-2138.