MARQUETTE - Since 1963, communities around the nation have marked Older Americans Month.
Taking part in the salute, Marquette County has proclaimed this to be Older Americans Month here. County commissioner Bruce Heikkila said the month is a time to take special notice of older residents.
"We never say thank you to seniors for all the work they do, for the important contribution they make to our community," said Heikkila, who serves on the Marquette County Aging Services Advisory Committee.
"Seniors are involved so much in volunteering. They participate in many ways in services to help others," Heikkila said. "They share their knowledge and the history of the area with others. They all truly deserve a thank you."
This year's theme for Older Americans Month is "Never Too Old to Play," putting a spotlight on the ways olders adults can share their wisdom and contribute to society.
Current trends show that people over age 60 "account for an every-growing percentage of participants in community service positions, faith-based organizations, online social networking as well as arts and recreation groups," according to a news release from the federal government's Administration on Aging.
"Lifelong participation in social, creative and physical activities has proven health benefits, including retaining mobility, muscle mass and cognitive abilities, the release went on to state.
With that in mind, the senior centers in Marquette County are offering special events and activities in May as part of Older Americans Month.
"We here at the Marquette Senior Center are proud to be celebrating in our own way," said Jane Palmer, center coordinator. "I'd like to invite those who have never visited the center to stop in and see what we are all about. Friendly faces will be awaiting your arrival and who knows ... you'll probably recognize an old friend.
"This month we offer a variety of interesting activities like a three-week computer course is taking place in partnership with Peter White Public Library, a AARP Safe Driving Class which by completing, could qualify you for a reduction in your auto insurance, a Health Screening given by the County Health Department. All these (and more) are offered to you this month free of charge," Palmer said.
For more information regarding the programs and more activities at the Marquette Senior Center, call Jane Palmer at 228-0456.
At other county senior centers:
Ishpeming Senior Center
Center Director Elyse Bertucci listed these May activities:
Negaunee Senior Center
Kristy Basolo, Center Director, provided this list of Older Americans Month activities:
For more information on any of these activities, call 475-6266.
Forsyth Senior Center
Center Director Julie Shaw said this month's birthday party at 2 p.m. May 18 will be a salute to older Americans, especially those who are military veterans. Those celebrating birthdays in May will be celebrated as well. For more information, call 346-9862.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.