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Beat the heat at the Shawnee Senior Center

Amy Riggins
Contributing writer

Happy 4th of July, Shawnee! Or more specifically, Happy Independence Day! Let freedom ring!  You may have already enjoyed some fireworks, but there are more planned both locally and on TV, so I hope you get the opportunity to experience them!

If you are looking for ways to beat the heat this summer, stop in at the Senior Center at 401 N. Bell.  We are open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  We offer free and fun recreational activities for individuals aged 55+.  There’s lots to choose from and lots of free coffee or iced tea to drink, so come join us!  

In case you are wondering what recreational activities are, those are things you do for fun!  Recreation can include leisure, relaxation, movement, exercise, crafts, music, skill acquisition, cultural events, competition, games, mental challenges, social interaction, etc., etc.  While some folks might think of just sports or working out, recreation encompasses a wide variety of activities.

Staying healthy both physically and mentally is important at any age and taking part in recreational activities can help keep us active and well. Social fitness is just as important as physical fitness, and you can find lots to do with us here at the center.  Card games, dominoes, Bingo, billiards, Pinochle, Bible study, quilting, crocheting, walking, Pickle Ball, singing Gospel songs, listening to live Country music, dancing, and more.  If you don’t have our July calendar, please stop by to pick one up, or call us at 405-878-1528 and we will be happy to mail you a copy.  

You can join in on the Gospel singing on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:30-11:30 a.m.  Country music kicks off on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.  Our card players join together every Monday and Wednesday afternoons 12:30-5:00 p.m., plus they play on non-Bingo Fridays too!  Bingo is held at the Senior Center on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month, 1:00-3:00 p.m.  In addition, a group gathers on Thursdays 1:00-4:00 p.m. to play Pinochle.  

Do you enjoy dominoes, billiards, or puzzles?  Our recreation room has plenty of space for all of those, plus more types of games.  Stop by anytime we are open, but especially in the afternoons if you want to join in on a game of dominoes.  

We plan to celebrate a lot of birthdays during the month of July.  Since we normally recognize people in each month, we have some catching up to do!  On Thursday, July 9 we will celebrate anyone who had birthdays in April or May.  Then on Tuesday, July 21, we will celebrate people with birthdays in June or July.  On both days, we will have individually wrapped snacks available all day, plus birthday posters for those with birthdays to sign.  We plan to keep these posters from year to year so we can continue to add names for a long time!

With Governor Kevin Stitt’s recent statement regarding slowing the spread of COVID-19, we are strongly encouraging the use of face masks when individuals are not able to practice social distancing of 6 feet.  You will see our staff members wearing masks at the front counter of the Senior Rec Center, and we do still have a few available if you need one. One note:  The use of masks is not recommended during fitness classes, so we encourage social distancing during the actual class. You can still wear your mask to and from class if you choose to do so.   

We are still recommending social distancing of 6 feet while in the center, plus reminding folks to wash hands often.  Our center operations have transitioned to be mostly touch free, and we are doing our part to keep things clean and disinfected.   

We want to encourage you to continue to be safe and do what’s right for you.  Some have chosen to wait a bit longer before returning, and that is fine.  If you have any questions about our cleaning and disinfecting protocols, please contact me at 405-878-1528 or email at amy.riggins@shawneeok.org  

Project Heart will continue serving meals on a take-out basis only during the summer.  You can find out more information about the Project Heart lunch program by calling 405-275-4530. They are located in the Community Center at 804 S. Park, but you will need to call first.  

Each Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. you can hear more about upcoming Senior Happenings on the “Mike in the Morning” radio show, aired on KGFF found at AM 1450 or FM 100.9.  

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and we look forward to seeing you at the Center!