Who says only young people can have fun?
Shouts of hoorahs and laughter filled the Simmons Center Thursday, but the noise wasn’t from youth playing basketball. It was from 89 senior citizens and 20 volunteers having fun at the 19th annual Southwest Oklahoma Senior Games.
Great fall weather allowed the participants a chance to enjoy outdoor games, too, said Pat Bowles, Simmons Center’s adult events coordinator.
Outside, best friends Sharron Eaves and Patsy Tribbey played a fun game of horseshoes. They’ve been participating since 2000.
“We enjoy the fellowship and the fun stuff,” Eaves said. When asked if they would like to have senior game day more than once a year, Tribbey laughed and said once a year was plenty. They stay active taking a water aerobics class at the Simmons Center.
Both women attend Bray Missionary Baptist Church and make it a point to visit two assisted living centers and two nursing homes, to sing once a month. Before retirement a few years ago, Eaves was personnel management for Walmart and Tribbey worked at AOA in Marlow, which is no longer in business.
All game participants received stickers on the name badge ribbons they wore, indicating a first or second place in the event they played. For a group of women from Lawton, they joked about being competitive at the shuffleboard event. Sallie Walker and Violet Pluto had been to the games before, but this year, they brought Muriel Polone for her first time.
Bowles said most people pre-register, but some do arrive as walk-ins. One of those was World War II veteran Creed King. It was his first time to the games and he was hard to keep up with. King, 94, was busy taking pictures with his camera and making new friends.
He also was the surprise winner of the Most Birthdays Award, beating out Simmons Center member Nathan Dobbs, by four months. Both men were born in 1919, Bowles said. Dobbs regularly visits the facility to stay active. King said he came to Duncan in the 1940s and worked for Halliburton, but eventually moved away. He’s recently returned and finding much enjoyment in getting involved.
Dovie Gleghorn, 93, of Duncan won the second place for Most Birthdays.
Clifton Brown of Lawton, won the Spirit of the Games Award.
“All the volunteers told me he was so much fun. He was a cut-up and having a ball,” Bowles said.
Most of the participants had a story to share. Cindy Long, 65, and Vivian Medders, 72, have been coming to the games for 10 years.
“We played outside games and my son has threatened to come up here and tell them I’m cheating and say I’m on steroids,” Long said. Laughing at the inside joke, she explained, “I’ve got all these first place stickers.”
Terry and Linda Spradley may have been the two most active people at the facility on Thursday, but only because they keep in physical shape on a daily basis.
Terry said they come to the Simmons Center weekly, and twice a week, they ride bicycles 31 miles through Fort Sill and in that area in Lawton.
While no awards were given out for yearly participation, Louise Adams of Marlow, said she’s come to the games all 19 years. She’s looking forward to the 20th anniversary, which Bowles said is already in planning stages.
During lunch, The Pacesetters performed a Broadway dance number, and Ensley Kohout performed some numbers from “Annie.”
Many of the volunteers arranged time away from their regular jobs so they could help and have fun, too. Like Heather Cain and best friend Coral Warren. Cain, who teaches a step class at the facility on Tuesday nights, works at Halliburton’s field camp, said she was having as much fun as the participants. The pair took turns playing badminton with the seniors.
Bowles said that 85 people played in the 2012 games, and was happy to see a few more people attend this year. She’s hoping for even more at the 2014 games.
Besides games, lunch and awards, several sponsors were available as an informational courtesy.
“We had Advanced Medical Supply, Walgreens, Duncan Regional Hospital, and then Varai Clinic did free massages,” Bowles said. “Karen Cain with DRH Community Outreach, was showing different programs they have available.”
Who says only young people can have fun?
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County to seek bids for fairgrounds expansion project
Expansion of the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center may get underway as early as this summer.
The Stephens County commissioners, joined by fairgrounds director Mike Anderson, discussed the expansion project during their meeting Monday. The commissioners approved going out for bids to see how much it would cost to build another building the same size as the Expo Arena and to relocate the South Stall Barn south to the outdoor stalls.
Lane suspects back in court Wednesday
The preliminary hearing in the death of Australian native Christopher Lane will continue on Wednesday for three Duncan teenagers charged in the fatal shooting.
The hearing, which began on Feb. 4 but was recessed until Wednesday, will determine if there is sufficient evidence for the cases against the suspects to be taken to trial.
Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 18 face first-degree murder charges in the Aug. 16, 2013, death of Lane, who shot while jogging in the afternoon at Country Club Road near Twilight Beach.
Vehicle burglars strike seven times
A string of seven car burglaries over the weekend has prompted Duncan police to urge residents to lock up their vehicles and take valuables inside at night.
Four car thefts were reported in Duncan on Sunday and three were reported Saturday, with over $1,000 worth of items and cash stolen from vehicles.
City council to discuss projects, half-cent sales tax
City Manager Jim Frieda hopes to give Duncan City Council members an idea of how much money the city would get from continuation of the city’s half-cent economic development sales tax.
Council members will meet at 5:15 p.m. today in the council chambers at 720 W. Willow.
Infrastructure projects, including street improvements and water conservation efforts, are on the agenda for discussion.
Lt. Gov. Lamb says he’ll look at governorship when Fallin finished
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a Rebublican from Enid, made his formal announcement for re-election this week and made a campaign swing through Stephens County. He stopped by the Duncan Banner last week for a chat with news editor Steve Olafson. Here’s how it went:
Waurika reshuffles City Hall lineup
With the city manager now on administrative leave, members of the Waurika City Commission wanted someone to steer the ship, and they found that person Monday when Brad Scott was hired as acting city manager.
In addition, following a one-hour executive session, the four members of the commission named City Treasurer Nancy Bluml as assistant city manager.
Waurika City Commissioners reinstate Brown
Chuck Brown was somewhat surprised early last week when the Waurika City Commissioners voted to terminate him from the position of city manager.
Brown was very surprised four days later to learn he had been “un-terminated” and restored to the city manager position.
Awards handed out at livestock show
Winners were announced and students walked away vests and plaques at the end of the week-long 76th annual Stephens County Junior Livestock Show, which ended Friday.
Following the award ceremony, the premium sale began as livestock was auctioned off.
Stephens County Fair Board secretary Kathy Shorter said funds for the sale are gathered through the different clubs in support of the students in the competition.
School boards to meet Monday
Bray-Doyle, Central High and Velma-Alma public schools will meet at their respective superintendents’ offices at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Velma-Alma’s school board will discuss possible re-employment of certified teachers and staff for next school year and possible approval of a senior trip to Medieval Times in May
Today marks beginning of Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time began in the early hours today as clocks were set forward one hour.
Clocks were skipped ahead from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. and won’t be set back again until Nov. 2 when Daylight Savings Time ends.
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