By Wyatt Goolsby
STANTON - It's been just two months, but a new hot spot in Stanton is giving senior citizens a new place to call home. On Thursday, directors unveiled their new Martin County Senior Citizen Center, aimed at the community, long-term.
"It's just a dream come true," Sally Poteet, the Director of the Senior Center, said. "I've just always known that the people here that we could serve if we had a bigger place and better place to serve them."
It's been years in the making, but some grant money and generous donations have helped to make this new Senior Center a reality in Stanton. On Thursday, directors and foundation members showed off the new facility, which includes a computer and TV room, future space for exercise equipment, and a lot more room for senior citizens.
"It's a great place, even to look at," Bonnie Allred, a Senior Citizen, said.
Compared to the old Senior Center, the new building is five times larger. A fact many said is part of encouraging senior citizens to check it out.
"A lot of people think that they're not old enough," Allred explained. "They get that feeling, and some of them are widows and widowers, and they need the nourishing meal."
There's no denying the pantry is packed with food. Having their own kitchen is something directors said is another plus.
"We've been here serving meals about two months, we've already more than doubled what we were serving at our other location," Poteet explained. "And it continues everyday. We continue to get new people in."
The Center is also serving meals to at least thirty seniors who are homebound. Poteet said the food is just one of many reasons they've seen more seniors start showing up in the last two months.
"I think part of it is the newness of it, the curiosity of wanting to see the new building, but our hope is the food is good enough and we have enough to offer that they will keep coming back," Poteet added. "We have seen that. We've had new people come in, and they don't just come once and don't come back, they've been coming back regularly."
Poteet said it's important to have a bigger facility that offers a number of activities, especially as more of the baby boomers retire. She also said the social events like the grand opening on Thursday will encourage senior citizens to participate more.