By Shaun Savarese, The Daily Record of Dunn.
DUNN - Hovering over a roundtable just to knit and sew, Betty McKoy, Annie McNeill, Mary Peterson, Adrienne Leggett and quilt instructor Valerie Thompson craft and crochet patchwork pieces for victims of domestic violence.
The Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) Dunn Senior Enrichment Center at 660 E. Johnson St. offers community-centered activities, like line dancing, art groups, exercise and crafts for older citizens in the area.
Registration for the program is free for those older than 50 and offers a nutrition program for group members older than 60. CCCC Senior Activities Director Phyllis Taylor has been with the program for 17 years, remaining director when it moved over from the City of Dunn to the community college last July. The project is open ended, she said, meaning crafty seniors can keep on quilting as long as they like. The Dunn Senior Enrichment Center has produced 5,000 hats in five years, while also donating lap quilts to veterans hospitals and nursing homes. Producing for Toys For Tots and the Samaritan's Purse, local agencies provide the demand for the enrichment center's work and, in turn, the program has a demand for fabrics and yarn.
Another area of demand at the program is for Meals on Wheels volunteers.
"We are in dire need," Mrs. Taylor said.
Volunteers work one weekday morning a month. Each volunteer delivers to less than 20 homes within Dunn city limits.
Mrs. Taylor said sometimes volunteers are nutrition program members' only outside contact.
"They can be lifesavers," she said.
At the present moment, Mrs. Taylor is preparing 18 local participants for the Mid-Carolina Senior Games next month.
The 31st annual Mid-Carolina Senior Games run from April 19 through May 8.
The April 19 torch-lighting ceremony takes place at Hercules Fitness Center on Fort Bragg in Fayetteville.
Events like golf, baseball, basketball, bowling, swimming and pool will be held in Cumberland, Sampson and Harnett counties through May.
Varying distance walks, horseshoes, bocce, croquet and cornhole will be on the bill, with a chance to medal for a trip to the state event in Raleigh.
A trip to the state capital is exciting, but for many members of this traveling group, it's just a walk around the block.
"We traveled to San Antonio, Texas, for a week," Mrs. Taylor said. "Our next trip will be a cruise to Alaska ... which will require planes, buses and a boat."
The August cruise will take Mrs. Taylor and her Harnett County seniors away for a week for a price tag under $2,000.
Mrs. Taylor said that P.M.L. Tours of New Jersey offers affordability features like an incremental, monthly payment plan.
The Dunn location, one of the first senior centers under the control of a community college, will be closed Fridays during the summer. The homebound people will still get their meals delivered on Fridays. "A box meal will be delivered to cover that day," Mrs. Taylor said.
The Dunn Enrichment Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Its summer hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., from May 19 through July 28, with the regular schedule resuming Monday, July 31.
For more information, call Mrs. Taylor at (910) 814-8929.
Shaun Savarese | The Daily Record of Dunn. From left, Senior Activities Director Phyllis Taylor, quilt instructor Valerie Thompson, Mary Peterson, Betty McKoy and Annie McNeill present handmade quilts to be donated to victims of domestic violence.
Shaun Savarese | The Daily Record of Dunn. Elmona Stephenson, Mott Goff, Jane Moore, Jeanette Faircloth, Toni Sann and Ruth Harrington paint at the CCCC/Dunn Center.