Group Gathering

MAPLE SPRINGS – More than 550 seniors from across the county united Friday.

The Chautauqua County Office for the Aging held its annual “Senior Picnic” at Midway State Park in Maple Springs.

The picnic included live music, door prizes, cash prize bingo, 50/50 drawings and a barbecue chicken lunch provided by All-American Barbecue & Catering.

Teresa Perrin, president of the United Senior Council, and her husband, Fred, said that they have been coming to the event for four or five years.

“We like the fellowship with seniors from all over the area,” Teresa said. “It’s nice to meet new people – most of the people that come to this event belong to different senior groups.”

According to Rick Cranston and his wife Kate, of Brocton, this is their third year attending the picnic. They sat across a picnic table from Alberta Blakely, another senior who attended the event.

“Each year it seems to get better – we enjoy the bingo, food and meeting other seniors,” Kate said. “This year, we have beautiful weather.”

Rick added that he and his wife are involved with the Brocton-Portland Seniors club.

A group of seniors representing Jamestown, Lakewood and Celoron also attended, including David Fye and his wife Shirley, Ricky Doud, Joey Barr and Leonard Fye.

“We’ve been here a few times,” David said. “We like the food and getting to meet other seniors.”

The group added that they are planning to take part in an upcoming bus trip to Niagara Falls with other seniors from the area.

According to Mary Ann Spanos, director of the Office for the Aging, the picnic is an opportunity to have fun and raise awareness for the mission of the Office for the Aging.

“There are about 550 seniors here today – the picnic grows every year,” Spanos said. “The Office for the Aging is a mission-driven organization that provides long-term home services and connects seniors to organizations and advocacy groups.”

Spanos said that the Office for the Aging aims to be the “first call” for seniors having issues.

This event is supported by generous donations, grants and fundraising efforts. Sponsors include Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Doyle Medical Monitoring, HealthNow, Humana, Independent Health and Univera.

For more information, call one of the following Office for the Aging locations: Mayville, 753-4471; Dunkirk, 363-3865; or Jamestown, 661-8940.