By LISA WHALEY
Jonesborough Senior Center was recently named 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Community Service Award for the state by the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
“I was very, very excited to hear that we had won,” said Senior Center Director Mary Sanger. Sanger will be going to Mississippi October 2-5 to receive the award. “I think it brings recognition to all the things that are going on at the center.”
According to Linda Miller with the Area Agencies on Aging in Charlotte, N.C., the award “recognizes a faith-based group, service organization, civic club or governmental department that has made a significant impact on quality of life for older adults.”
The Jonesborough Senior Center was honored for its wellness program and honored for its wellness program and activities. And, while Sanger said she was not sure the exact number of centers and organizations they competed against, she was gratified Jonesborough was chosen for the state.
“They give one for each state and there are eight states in the Southeast conference,” Sanger explained.
A wellness-based program has long been a priority for Sanger for the Senior Center, even before the new building opened in December of 2015.
The new center currently offers exercise opportunities through its fitness center and classes, instructions in various health related topics and health living, a visiting fitness specialist, a physician available as a one-on-one health coach and more.
“I love in the mornings when I go downtown stars and I see 10 or 15 people in the gym,” Sanger said. “The town has worked hard on this and it is gratifying seeing that come to fruition and the (senior center) team here gets to be part of that. We get to come to work and see everything that is happening. That is pretty incredible.”
Sanger is not only excited about the impact she believes the center is having on the lives of area seniors, she is also eager for that impact to spread.
“Any of the staff here is always happy for folks to call and get more information about our center and its programs,” Sanger stressed. “Or come by and pick up a newsletter.”