Senior center celebrates 24th annual Picnic in the Park

Senior center celebrates 24th annual Picnic in the Park

Image Credit: Teri Stein

The Tuscarawas County Senior Center is offering seniors an opportunity to attend a picnic at Tuscora Park, socialize, dance and even win prizes. The 24th annual Picnic in the Park will be held Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon.

In addition to a hot-dog lunch with baked beans, chips and a cookie, the event will offer music by Spikeman, bingo, entertainment by Jay Secrest, drumming with Laura Russell and more.

Tickets are free and available at the front desk of the senior center and its satellite locations. The event is limited to 500 participants.

Some organizations will set up booths at the event to distribute free information to seniors including Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, the Tuscarawas County Health Department and Empower Tusc with its Mind your Meds program.

“They will talk to seniors about the concern of prescription medications in their homes and how somebody entering your home that may stumble upon those things, and you should maybe take them to drug take-backs,” said Vicki Yates, TCSC director of activities. “We just try to prevent any of that mishap in the home.”

Ridding one’s home of medication no longer needed can keep it from falling into the hands of someone who may be harmed by it.

In addition to the information about services available, the picnic is designed to be a fun day. There will be popcorn provided by Park Village Healthcare Center, Claymont Health and Rehab of Uhrichsville, and Oak Pointe Nursing and Rehab; snow cones from Interim Home Healthcare; and bingo, lots of prizes from sponsors and a 50/50 drawing.

The picnic is a popular event every year, and it’s not just because everyone enjoys playing bingo.

“I think it’s just because it’s a picnic. When you think of picnics, you think of your friends and family and summer and hot dogs and fun,” Yates said.

Line dancing is popular too.

The Picnic in the Park committee is made up of Steve Rondinella of Crossroads Hospice, Matt Kinsey of First Federal Community Bank, Yvette Schupach of New Dawn Rehab and Healthcare Center, Robin Mackey of Geib Funeral Home, and Jamie L. Smith, Vicki Yates and Bob Hall from the TCSC.

The picnic and the annual Virginia Kane Hall of Fame and Volunteer Appreciation Gala in October are fundraisers for the Support our Seniors program at the TCSC.

The SOS program has funds available to help senior citizens who are 50 and older and living in Tuscarawas County. The purpose of the program is to provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable seniors who need financial assistance with things such as utility bills, prescription medications and minor home repairs. Applications for help are available at the senior center.

Yates said the staff at the senior center has already noticed how inflation has affected the people they serve.

“Our transportation department has been very, very busy with trying to accommodate more seniors that choose to use our transportation rather than (buy their own) gas because gas prices are going up,” Yates said. “With that being said, it is recommended to give the transportation department a call two to three days’ notice because more people are using the service.”

Previously, those needing rides could call 24 hours ahead, but now 48 hours is better.

“If you know you have a doctor’s appointment on Friday, then it would be good to call Wednesday,” Yates said.

With nutritious meals available at lunchtime Monday through Friday for $4, seniors should call the day before by noon to order their meals. Meals can be ordered by the day, week or month.

Their drive-thru service has stopped, but meals are still available for carryout from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Those needing assistance with mobility should share that information when they place their lunch order.

A regular membership at the TCSC is $25, but many choose the VIP membership at $45, which allows members use of the fitness equipment and walking track in the basement of the Dover facility. Some fitness classes are included, and others are available for a small fee for each class.

“If anybody would like a newsletter, they should call the senior center and be put on our mailing list so they can learn everything that we have here because we have wonderful services,” Yates said.

For seniors who want the opportunity to travel, they also have day trips and extended trips available each year. Costs of the trips vary, but you don’t have to be a member or live in the county to sign up.

Trips remaining on the schedule for this year include a day trip to Oglebay Park in West Virginia on Sept. 13, a day trip to Marietta on Oct. 22 and an overnight mystery trip Aug. 20-21.

A trip reveal for 2023 will be held sometime in the fall. Call the senior center and ask to be put on the list to receive information on the reveal. Those attending will learn about the trips before they are put in the newsletter and get the first chance to sign up for the trips.

Nominations are now being accepted for the Virginia Kane Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer Appreciation Gala.

Yates also announced the grand prize winner of the 12 Days of Christmas in July giveaway of $750 is Gabrielle Pilesen. Prizes on the other 11 days included gift cards and certificates, gift baskets, and Little Theatre and Amish Country Theater tickets donated by various sponsors from the community.

The fundraiser, which supports activities offered at each of the five locations, was so successful the TCSC is planning to have it again next summer.

Tickets for a rocking chair fundraiser are available now. Two chairs will be raffled, and the winners will be drawn at the fall volunteer appreciation dinner.