Good morning! If you’ve never taken the time to read a Senior Center Happenings column … this is the one to read. Not because the writing is any better but because the subject is. This column is about one of the biggest events in Shawnee Senior Center history that will be happening on Jan. 13 (that’s this Saturday) at the Municipal Auditorium/Gym and next door at the Shawnee Senior Center.

Good morning! If you’ve never taken the time to read a Senior Center Happenings column … this is the one to read. Not because the writing is any better but because the subject is. This column is about one of the biggest events in Shawnee Senior Center history that will be happening on Jan. 13 (that’s this Saturday) at the Municipal Auditorium/Gym and next door at the Shawnee Senior Center.

As you already know the Senior Center has been around since 1984 and as you might know, because I mentioned them last week, big changes are being made to update the website and Facebook page. Along with that is the drive that is going on now to get more businesses and agencies involved in the future of the center.

Let’s get right down to the working agenda for Saturday. First thing is the ribbon cutting ceremony being staged by the Chamber of Commerce. It’s at 6 p.m. at the center (remember 401 N. Bell, east of the Municipal Auditorium/Gym) and everyone is invited. You can come meet the people from the chamber, the board members of the senior center, and some of the employees who make the center happen. If you’ve never been in the building, there will be tours so you can see for yourself how much bigger it is on the inside than it looks on the outside.

At 7 p.m. the doors to the auditorium will open and everyone is invited to attend the fun and happenings in the gym. Ticket cost for all the festivities is $5 for seniors (that’s anyone 50 and better) as well as children 12 years old and younger and $10 for everyone older than 12 but younger than 50.

In the foyer of the auditorium you will see two sets of tables with all kinds of interesting looking things on them. It’s all set up for the “Silent Auction” which includes “Date Nite Specials” with dinner tickets, flowers and a surprise; a beautiful walnut wood sculpture by former Seminole Chief Jerry Haney; an absolutely gorgeous handmade quilt donated by the Shawnee Spinning Spools Quilt Guild and a whole lot of other specialty items and services like gift cards from Rib Crib, Golden Corral, CPN, Starbucks, wine from Sparks Winery and others too numerous to mention but they will all be displayed at those tables. There will be a limited time to bid so look around and check out the merchandise.

At 7:30 the Blackwater Smoke Band will start the music and the gym will turn to soft lights, great country western music and dancing. The band is led by Geoff Scott, who is the rhythm guitarist, members Rob Sheppard on drums, Merv Long on base guitar, and Jim Manousky on lead guitar. Geoff has been in bands since he was 9 years old when his dad (who also had a band) needed a drummer and Geoff was available. Geoff and Rob, the band drummer, have been playing together for 12 years and Merv and Jim started with them three years ago. They love to play, will gladly take requests so let them know what you want to hear.

When the guys in the band take their break Kate Joyce, center director, will take a few minutes to let everyone in on the big changes that are being put into play with the dance and those that will be happening in the near future at the senior center. She will also be presenting the new website page on screen in the gym with the new branding (remember that’s the way to identify a product or service without seeing the name) and the new ability the center will have to post pictures, messages or whatever instantaneously to the website. See Kate walking around with a camera — smile and then find yourself on the screen when she presents the new website.

Now there are also some very special companies that have gone a step further to help the center become a more 21st-century location for seniors. The following businesses have purchased tables at the Blue Jeans Ball: Shawnee Milling Company, Avedis Foundation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Finley and Cook PLLC, Signworks, Route 66 Creative, and Grace Living Center.

Along with the above are those businesses that have helped to sponsor the center by reserving chairs at our big event: IEP Security, Fred’s Tire & Battery, Direct Colors, Inc.. The West Law Firm, and Lonnie’s Body Shop.

Choosing a company listed above to serve your needs will also help us to thank these very important businesses in ways that only you can help us do.

The senior center is going to grow with their help and yours, so feel free to stop in and see for yourself what we have available, what we do daily, weekly and monthly to enable seniors to continue a productive, healthy and happy social lifestyle. Check out our new webpage, see who’s visiting the center and what’s on the new Facebook page.

And, of course, come say “Hi” to the center staff and enjoy the “Blackwater Smoke Band” music at the Jan. 13 “extravaganza”, “Blue Jeans Ball” at the Shawnee Municipal Auditorium/Gym.

Join Kate and Mike at 8:35 a.m. on “Mike in the Morning” for any late minute information they might have concerning our big day.

And remember, at the Shawnee Senior Center, “Age is just a number,” the Facebook page is “ShawneeSeniorCenter,” and our website is www.SHAWNEESENIORS.org.

See you at the center!