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West Stanly Senior Center celebrates one year anniversary

People from around the county came to the West Stanly Senior Center Thursday morning for food and fellowship to celebrate the center’s one-year anniversary.

Previously run for years by volunteers, since last October the senior center has been managed by the Stanly County Senior Center and the Stanly County YMCA.

“I’m excited that we have an opportunity to serve more seniors,” Becky Weemhoff, director of Stanly County Senior Services, said.

The YMCA has offered more structure, staffing and activities, said Kelley Bigger, family services director at the Stanly County YMCA.

“It’s been amazing how it’s grown every month,” Bigger said.

She said last month the total attendance was 731, much higher than in October last year, when the attendance was 358.

The center has recently been averaging more than 30 people per day, Weemhoff said.

Bev Staples of Red Cross has been coming to the senior center for four years. She teaches a jewelry-making class.

“It has been wonderful,” she said of the collaboration between the county and YMCA. “We have a place to come to that is inviting and warm.”

“We’re a family,” she said.

Tony Nichols of Locust has been coming to the center for three years and enjoys playing cards and bingo.

“It means a lot to me,” he said. “It gets me out of the house.”

Tony Nichols plays cards with others at the West Stanly Senior Center.

Locust City Manager Cesar Correa said the center is a boon for many of the area’s aging population.

“We are so proud of the work happening here in Locust Town Center, and we look forward to seeing it’s continued success,” Correa said. “I think participants are relieved that they have a centralized location where professional staff is working on programing and activities for them to enjoy.

“It is important for our seniors to know that we’re here for them, and that we’re looking out for them.”

County Manager Andy Lucas said the senior center is a “valuable resource for our growing elderly population.”

“The residents of Red Cross, Oakboro, Stanfield and Locust, as well as those living in and around the communities of Ridgecrest, Bloomington and Frog Pond, now have a more convenient facility to access programs and events focused on seniors,” Lucas said.

“It’s really a beautiful community that we have out here,” Bigger said.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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