You know by now that I start out with sharing what a busy week it’s been at Shawnee Senior Center, and this time it’s not just from all of our regular activities. For the whole week of Feb 11-15, Mobile Smiles was hanging out with us at the Shawnee Senior Center providing free (yes, free) dental work for a minimum of 10 adults per day!

You know by now that I start out with sharing what a busy week it’s been at Shawnee Senior Center, and this time it’s not just from all of our regular activities. For the whole week of Feb 11-15, Mobile Smiles was hanging out with us at the Shawnee Senior Center providing free (yes, free) dental work for a minimum of 10 adults per day!

I can imagine how tired they were after being in all those people’s mouths all week, but they just smiled and joyfully provided this awesome service to our community members who had no dental insurance. Now, that may include you, and if it does I bet you’re upset with yourself for missing it! Fear not! Thanks to the Avedis Foundation, Mobile Smiles will be back. Returning to Shawnee March 25-29, they will be located at the Community Market doing just what they did here — providing free (yes, free) dental services for adults and seniors who don’t have dental insurance. They provide cleanings, extractions, x-rays, and fillings for Pottawatomie County adults and seniors.

Back to our activities here at the center, Square Eights Square Dancers held a Valentine’s Day party on Feb. 9, and left all the decorations up so the seniors could enjoy them, too. It was wonderful! We even dimmed the lights during our country and western dance on Valentine’s Day and couples whisked each other around the dance floor – it was very romantic. Bobbie Jean Doss, our cook, made a lovely strawberry cake to serve at lunch and with those poor guys in the pool room who never get any treats to enjoy with their coffee <wink, wink>.

This upcoming week I am very hopeful that my daffodils actually make it through a week without sub-freezing weather. We have perennials coming up all around the building! Hyacinths, daffodils, iris, strawberries (yummm) and even some petunias that never seemed to completely die out. Like our seniors, perennials are tough, and that’s why I love them! Nothing stops our peeps from coming out for their favorite events: exercise classes, playing pool or dominoes, quilting or crocheting with friends, playing and learning to play a multitude of card games!

Our volunteers are amazing people, too. They greet people with a smile, provide direction, sell raffle tickets for that beautiful king size quilt donated by Spinning Spools Quilt Guild. Our front desk volunteers show our participants so much attention - sharing laughter, providing information, making people feel welcome, and when teased - give it right back to some of them!

Our now longest serving volunteer is Betty Griswold. Betty has been coming to the senior center since it opened in 1984! Before computers, she used to track our attendance by hand so we would have numbers for our grants, programs and our city of Shawnee contract for services. There are a lot of confidential items here and Betty sees to it that it all gets shredded. In fact, she has worn out three shredders and we are now on our fourth!

Mary Johnston is also a volunteer who has been here a while – I’ll bet many of you know her already. She works three afternoons a week and only the Lord knows what we would do without her. She was so reserved when she started working here but - I’d say with some exposure, she’s come out of her shell. Someone still shocks her every once in a while!

Delbert Totty is one of our morning volunteers. You may have seen some of his poetry in the Shawnee News-Star. He is very creative and not the least bit a wallflower!

Coreena Wilson-Pickens works at our front desk most Friday afternoons. You may remember her from her “Savvy Seniors” column in the News-Star.

And I know all of you know Bobbi Gaglia (we call her Bobbi G – 2 Bobbi’s) – she used to write this column.

We have a new greeter, too - Kelly Alworth. He’s been with us a little over a month now, two mornings a week – and he fits right in. I don’t know if he’s happy about that or not, but we sure are!

Come on down and meet all of us here at the Shawnee Senior Center. This place is like a little piece of home and we’d love to share it with you. Breakfast is free and lunch is only $2, because we are supported by a grant from Walmart Foundation and products from Shawnee Milling Company.

There is something exciting about spring in the air! Particularly after a cold snap! Shawnee Senior Center flowerbeds are beginning to sprout. We have daffodils blooming already, hyacinth and iris greenery are just popping up through the earth. We are planning the completion of our greenhouse and what will be growing in our greenhouse, flowerbeds, hay bales, and tires.

This week we have had the opportunity to participate in the Shawnee Forward Business Expo at Grand Casino, Hotel & Resort. So I’m turning in this story before actually attending the event but let me tell you – we’re planning to see and be seen along with the over two dozen other Shawnee businesses that are participating in the event. We’re planning to promote Shawnee Senior Center as a community venue for meetings, parties (baby showers, birthday and anniversary), dances, funeral dinners, church gatherings, contract exercise or dance classes, cooking demonstrations, conferences, arts and crafts events – you imagine it, we’ll help you do it! We (Valorie Martin) have custom-painted our picnic table to highlight the colors in our logo! It’s perfect for the “tail-gating” theme of the event. I hope you had a chance to stop by the business expo to check out some of the businesses and services Shawnee has to offer….. and checked us out!

This is the time of year I lock myself in my office to work on the budget for our next fiscal year, 2019-2020. I can’t even believe how quickly time is flying by! Spring is the time for new beginnings so we work hard to bring in new activities and perk up the building to make it all happen in a welcoming place. It is our goal that everyone who comes into the senior center find it to be a place they would enjoy to spend time, bring and make friends, and participate in activities.

Stay (or become more) active with our Tai Chi: Working for Better Balance and Enhance Fitness (Zero impact aerobics) classes. Our Tai Chi class is the longest running Tai Chi, fall and injury prevention class in the State of Oklahoma thanks to our grantors, COEDD-Area Agency on Aging and Avedis Foundation. Our fitness and meals program – are two of the reasons we are a Certified Healthy Oklahoma Business, Excellence Level. We are also a Blue Zones Certified Organization. We would love to share all of this with you! Our goals are to be Live Better Together Longer! Come on down and meet all of us here at the Shawnee Senior Center. This place is like a little piece of home and we’d love to share it with you. Breakfast is free and lunch is only $2 because we are supported by a grant from Walmart Foundation and products from Shawnee Milling Company.

Shawnee Senior Center (where you only have to 50 or “better” to play!) is located at 401 N. Bell Street, attached to the East end of the Municipal Auditorium.

I hope you join Mike Askins and I when we will be chatting on KGFF, FM100.9. Wednesday morning at 8:35. So until then, see you at the center!