You are still breathing, right? Reading this article? Then it’s not too late to consider trying something entirely new – loosing a few pounds, learning to paint, playing bocce ball or even ... visiting your hometown community center, Meridian Activity Center.
Bring some friends and a set of cards or dominoes on Friday and make it your own place to hang out and stay cool. Coffee is always hot and fresh.
Meridian Activity Center began summer classes two weeks ago, although crochet, knitting and cake decorating only began last week. It’s not too late to join any of our classes. If you are familiar with using a computer, go online to meridianms.org and check out our brochure listing under Parks and Recreation. (It is an older version, but classes still remain the same time basically.) However, your best bet is to come for a visit. We will give you a tour of both buildings.
The latest activity here is our Bocce Ball activity on Thursday nights for the developmentally disadvantaged taught by Steve Owen of the Church of the Mediator. He is available to teach others how to play on Monday nights starting at 6.
Bocce is played in any city with a large population of Italians. Most know it as lawn bowling. I was surprised to see it listed with 19 other games available at the Mississippi Senior Olympics. Besides Bocce Ball, we have Slimnastics, Zumba, yoga, strength training, seated exercise, floor exercise and a walking trail in our back field. That’s just classes for exercise, which we all know we need.
On Mondays at 10 a.m., we are introducing a new class for seniors called Zumba Gold – which is a low impact movement class to the same salsa beat as our regular Zumba (taught at 4:30 in the afternoon).
Last month, the American Legion sponsored a potluck/dance at the Center that attracted a crowd of 70-80 people. Michael Remy, the representative for that group, suggested doing another one this summer, using a DJ playing a variety of tunes and opening up the floor space for more dancing. It’s no secret, people love to dance!
As the Center is also well known as the Senior Citizens Center, we still host a variety of retiree group meetings on a monthly basis year-round. We can not rent out the building to private groups. Retiree groups such as Retired Educators, Telephone Pioneers, United Auto Workers, American Legion, Retired Federal Employees, AARP – all still meet at the Center. Our biggest problem is that we are running out of class space.
Speaking of “Mississippi Senior Olympics” we – Meridian Parks & Recreation – are looking at what it will take to bring these olympics to Meridian. Currently, the Gulf Coast offers them from Bay St. Louis to Pascagoula in the spring —19 various games. Winners from those games are invited to play in the Clinton/Jackson Area Senior Olympics; if they win there they have the ability to play in nationals (held bi-annually on odd years).
Meridian could begin with three or four games this fall and winners could play in Jackson next spring. Looking at all the activities for children in the summer at the park and city ball parks, I know there are adults over the age of 50 who are still active in their chosen sport(s) and would welcome the opportunity to compete.
It’s never too late to make an effort to try something new. Come visit the Meridian Activity Center and see what the city has to offer. We are open to adults 21 years and older. Classes are practically free – only $10 for 32 exercise classes if you are over the age of 55 and live in Meridian; a little more for living outside the city limits. Free classes such as Reading Discussion with Kathryn Horne, seated yoga, Kripalu Yoga at night are offered. And don’t forget Bingo on every first and third Thursday at 1 p.m..
Oh! And for you frequent phone callers, we will have another Re-cycled Plastic Shopping Bag class with Glenda Rank on June 26 at 10 a.m. She will be demonstrating how to prepare your strips cut from shopping bags. Please phone us if you plan to attend so we have enough space..
Try something new this summer. Meridian Activity Center, 3300 32nd Ave.. Phone (601) 485-1812 for information and class times.
• Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org