Aurora area gets its first senior-citizens center

Published 6:04 pm Friday, September 24, 2010

Staff Writer

AURORA — This southeastern Beaufort County community has something it’s never had before — senior-citizens center.
The Richland Senior Center’s arrival was celebrated eastern North Carolina style Thursday, with the celebration including a spread of food such as fudge, brownies and ice-cold pink lemonade. And don’t forget the speeches.
“It is the first-ever senior center to open in Aurora,” said Marlou Reid, president of the Richland Senior Center.
Center clients and supporters said Reid worked hard to help obtain everything the senior center has, including renovation and refurbishing of the former bank building that how houses the center. Volunteers also worked to transform the former bank building into a facility that would meet the need of the area’s senior citizens.
“It will be used for senior citizens that can come here to have fun and enjoy a good time, as well as exercise, play some games and just relax. But mostly to get involved and participate in activities,” Reid said.
“We do make a difference here, and we do give back,” she said.
Curtis Potter, who lives in the county’s Richland Township, helped make the Richland Senior Center a reality. Reid said during times when she wondered if something related to the center could really happen, Potter would get on the telephone and make it happen.
Curtis Brown, another community resident, said, “We are proud of Aurora and the senior center, and we are proud to give back and help in any way we can.”
Local attorney Darryl Cayton, with ties to the Aurora area, talked about the importance of the center to the community.
“What we will be doing next is a fundraiser in October to start to do more things to the building,” Reid said. “We will also have day trips for our seniors. At Christmas time, we’ll have a senior-citizens party at the Community Center, as it is bigger and can hold 65 to 70 people.”
Sometime this fall, the new center will host a dinner for retired teachers.
Starting in October, the center will offer games twice a month, on the second and fourth Monday of every month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“They (seniors) can come and play all kinds of games,” Reid said. “I will be teaching bridge, and people can also play other games if they wish to do so. You don’t have to be a member to do these, either. Anybody over 55 years of age is welcome to come on game days.”
Reid said the center will add events and activities, including an exercise class that will go from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“I want them to do things that are challenging but also fun,” she said. “We lest not forget our seniors. They’ve paid their dues, and they have wonderful experiences to share.”
Eula O’Neal, advisor to center, said the center is the only integrated senior center in its district.
“And that’s something we are very proud of,” Reid and O’Neal said.
“This is about us and this town,” Reid said. “This is a wonderful group of people and a wonderful town. This is a great thing we have here.”
In addition to Reid and O’Neal, other officers for the center, which has about 50 members, are Jonell Barber, vice president; Barbara Rowe, secretary; Martha Brown, treasurer; Myra Mayo, secretary; Gloria Jones, assistant; Alice Briley, voting delegate; Rita Galin, nonvoting delegate; Ann Cayton, alternate nonvoting delegate; James Parker, chaplain; and the Rev. Charles Brown, choir director.
The Richland Senior Center is located at 102 S. Fifth St., at the corner of N.C. Highway 33 and South Fifth Street.