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Seniors celebrate warmer days with luau

A local senior center kicked off the summer season with a Hawaiian-themed party.

For the seventh year, senior citizens gathered at the Jimmy Furlow Senior Citizen Center to celebrate the upcoming summer months with a luau, complete with food, fun and dancing.

“We try to do an event where they can show what they learned,” Director Kail Garrett said.

The event began with a showcase of various dances, including round dancing and line dancing.

Dance classes are taught at the center, where seniors can learn with a partner or as a group.

When the students were finished kicking their heels, everyone else had an opportunity to dance, as well. All that dancing can create an appetite, and Garrett was ready for them with snacks.

Opened in 2010, the senior center is available to Brookhaven and Lincoln County residents ages 50 and older. Participants have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of activities both educational and entertaining.

Garrett hopes to spend the summer engaging the participants in fun and light activities.

The senior center has hired two senior aides since April — Georgia Myers and Edna Smith. Both are excited for the upcoming summer at the center.

“I’m hoping they see how much fun they can have down here,” Smith said. “We have a lot of activities for them.”

According to Garrett, the center sees around 20 people every day.

“I hope that they’ll grasp onto the programs we offer and recruit new members,” Myers said.

The center’s hours will be changing to reflect those of the recreation department. Starting in June, the senior center will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.brookhavenrecreation.com/senior-center.

Story by Gracie Byrne