Meridian Star

April 3, 2013

MCC brings baseball, smiles to Aldersgate

Tony Tsoukalas
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — For senior citizens at Aldersgate Retirement Community baseball season has began.

    The Meridian College baseball team was on hand at Aldersgate to meet with members of the community and welcome in the start of baseball Tuesday afternoon. Head coach Dillon Sudduth and MCC players met and visited with residents, talking about everything from this year's team to memories of old.

    “One of the idea I though we could do was celebrate baseball,” Aldersgate Activities Director  Melanie Griffin said. “This year with Marsha (Hannah) being our new marketing director and er son (Dallas) being on the baseball team, I thought it'd be fun to incorporate some of our local baseball players into the social.”

    Marsha Hannah, mother of MCC baseball player and former Meridian High School great Dallas Hannah, first organized the event by calling Sudduth and asking if a couple of players could attend the event. Hannah and the rest of the Aldersgate community were ecstatic when Sudduth replied he would not only send a few players but bring the entire team as well.

    “Anytime we can help the community and do something like this, we jump at the opportunity,” Sudduth said. “They are a good group of high character guys.”

    Former Hinds Junior College athlete Lyda Cox was one of several residents on hand for the event. The 98-year-old Cox played several sports in both high school and with the Eagles and enjoyed telling her athletic feats to members of the MCC baseball team.

    “I played all kinds of sports,” Cox said. “I raced, basketball, baseball, you can't name a sport I didn't play.”

    On top of sharing stories and serving refreshments, MCC baseball players joined together to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the end of the social.

    “They truly do get as much out of it as they residents out here do,” Sudduth said. “This program wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for the community. It is part of our job to give back and be visible in the community.”

    Griffin encourages the Meridian community to come out and visit Aldersgate. Griffin said help can be as simple as just sitting on a couch and taking in a favorite television program with residents.

    “I would say to people who are out there looking for volunteer opportunities or social service clubs looking for things to do, being in this environment can be very rewarding,” Griffin said. “They appreciate every tiny thing you can do with them.”

    On April 26 Aldersgate plans to hold an event or Relay for Life. Griffin said Aldersgate is looking for volunteers to come out and help push wheelchairs and walk with residents. People interested in volunteering should call Griffin at 601 485 9484 Ext 2 for more details on how to help.