‘This is a big year for us’

Athletes, artists celebrate opening of 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County

Related coverage
* Photo gallery – opening ceremony
* April 13: Men’s bocce ball opens Games
* March 18: Last day to register
* Feb. 8: Senior Games set for April
* Oct. 18, 2014: 4 locals win gold at NC Senior Games

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — What happens when the Senior Games of Richmond County becomes, by its age, a senior citizen?

Looking around the inside of Cole Auditorium as people of all ages — from only a few weeks to those with eight-plus decades of experience on this planet — one thing is clear: Age is nothing but a number. Nearly 100 people gathered Monday evening to formally welcome the opening ceremonies of the 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com The Hamlet Shakers were the featured entertainment during the Opening Ceremonies of the 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
The Hamlet Shakers were the featured entertainment during the Opening Ceremonies of the 25th annual Senior Games of Richmond County.

The two-week sports and arts extravaganza continues at 9 a.m. Tuesday with Women’s Bocce Ball at the Hamlet Senior Center. Twenty-six competitors are registered for the event. The first event of the Games concluded earlier Monday, with Max Adrianse (80-84), Therion Robinson (75-79), Jerry Nelson (70-74), Mike Deese (65-69) and Mark Reeves (60-64) all earning first-place gold medal finishes in their respective age divisions.

Before the competition resumed, however, volunteers and participants enjoyed light refreshments, an inspiring rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner performed by 11-year-old Josie Anderson, of Washington Street Elementary School, as well as a motivational speech by Thomas McDonald, president of the Richmond Community College Student Government Association.

McDonald talked about the importance of perseverance.

“It’s all about what you’re willing to endure,” McDonald said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Terry Mercer, center, and Pete Wheeler, right, are two of the many volunteers helping to make the Senior Games happen.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Terry Mercer, center, and Pete Wheeler, right, are two of the many volunteers helping to make the Senior Games happen.

Pete Wheeler, volunteer coordinator of this year’s county Games, acknowledged to the crowd that “this is a big year for us,” the silver anniversary.

The invocation was given by Pastor Elaine McLaurin, of Shaddai Pentecostal Holiness Church, and The Hamlet Shakers — Wheeler, Terry Mercer, Valerie Lunceford, Vera Grant, Jerry Nelson, Elaine Layton, Lucia Muse, Jimmy Reese, Jean Hill and Linda McInnis, along with a few others who spontaneously jumped into fray — was the program’s featured entertainment.

Millie Wright, Games co-coordinator, offered the closing prayer for the 25-minute program.  Dinner was provided by Seaboard Station Restaurant in Hamlet.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Josie Anderson, 11, performed the national anthem.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Josie Anderson, 11, performed the national anthem.

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