Seniors’ Holiday Gala set

Published 9:51 pm Friday, December 6, 2013

Suffolk Parks and Recreation’s program for citizens 55 and over, which provides a variety of activities and outings throughout the year, is gearing up for its annual Holiday Gala next week.

At the Planters Club in North Suffolk on Wednesday, folks will enjoy lunch and entertainment, including singers, dancers and games.

“We are trying to cater to all the seniors in Suffolk,” said Curtis Kindred, a recreational specialist with the city department who coordinates seniors’ activities.

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“We get them to know one another and get them to mingle. We get them to come out and start using our facilities and take trips and use programs.”

The Holiday Gala at the Planters Club, 1408 Planters Club Road, begins at 10 a.m., and Kindred said most folks would probably be tired by about 1:30 p.m.

The event costs $10 per person, and space is limited. Those interested are invited to drop by the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St., or call 514-4500.

Kindred said the city’s senior program serves 300 to 400 folks throughout the year, while at least 150 are catered to weekly.

“We do programs that benefit their mind, body and soul,” he said.

Field trips take place at least twice a month on a Wednesday, Kindred said. “We take them to the malls and out to the movies.”

Last year, the program included a major field trip to Lancaster County, Pa., for a couple of nights. Kindred said he wasn’t yet sure where the group would venture to in 2014.

Most events and activities take place at the recreation center, where there’s guest speakers on topics like Medicare and nutrition, and a nurse attends from Sentara Obici Hospital to provide blood-pressure and sugar checks, according to Kindred.

“This is stuff we do at least once a month,” he said.

Other activities include a walking club, line dancing club, and game days with things like dominoes and card game Five Thousand.

“We do arts and crafts, with Christmas wreaths and custom jewelry,” Kindred said.

There’s also a seniors’ fitness room at the recreation center.

“Nowadays, some of the seniors are living longer, and we want them to live healthy lives, do more exercise and eat healthy food,” Kindred said.

“We remind them (to have) regular visits to the doctor and do recreational activities for them.”