LIMA — The Bradfield Center was bustling with activity Thursday as seniors gathered for a day of food and fun, sponsored by the Empty Stocking Fund.
“Everyone said they enjoyed it tremendously,” Shirel Youngblood, one of the event organizers, said. “The purpose was just to have a fun day for the seniors and the volunteers, so they could come out and fellowship together and have a good time at Christmas. It’s a great time to get together.”
The center hosted approximately 80 seniors during the event, and organizers were glad to see the large turnout.
“We had a great crowd today and we were very happy with the turnout,” Dr. Marcus F. Cox, board president at the Bradfield Center, said.
Thursday’s day out was part of a year-round effort by the Bradfield Center to reach out to area seniors.
“About four times a year, we have senior luncheons,” Youngblood said, “and usually one of the nursing homes sponsors it, usually Springview Manor and Baton Rouge most of the time. Sometimes we have an informational meeting if we have information that seniors need. They also play bingo, listen to music and just talk and enjoy a day out.”
This event was all about having fun, complete with a meal, jazz music, dancing and bingo.
“This was pretty much just for a fun day,” Youngblood said. “We had some information about Christmas and poems, as well.”
Seniors in attendance also went home with a bag of food, including fresh fruit, potatoes and onions, to help prepare for holiday meals.
“They all go home with a bag of food to supplement whatever they may already have for Christmastime,” Youngblood said.
The Bradfield Center will also host a second fun day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, this one for families.
“We’ll be having Santa and gifts that day, too,” Youngblood said. “The kids will have hot dogs and a drink, chips and cookies. They’ll get to see Santa and get a gift. We’ll also have a bounce house. The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority will have a shoe giveaway, and we’ll also have some free books out here for parents to pick up for the kids. Our drumline headed by Jesse Lowe will come out and do a demonstration, as well, so everyone can get a chance to see them in action. It should be a great day.”
For Thursday, however, it was all about honoring local seniors and giving them a chance to get out and enjoy good food and good company. For two ladies in attendance, coming to the Bradfield brought back a lot of memories.
“I used to come here as a teenager,” Cordelia Dixon said. “This was the place to come.”
“Things have changed a lot since we used to come,” Mary Clemens said. “It’s still really nice, though. We had a lovely time today.”