Seniors toast Older Americans Month with Fish Fry

Published 8:30 am Saturday, May 27, 2023

LANETT — May has been recognized as Older Americans Month since the early 1960s. In celebration of Older Americans Month 2023, Mayor Jamie Heard on Thursday treated a group of approximately 75 Lanett seniors to a fish fry at the L.B. Sykes Community Center. Among those present were those who participate in the Lanett Senior Center program, seniors who recently received certificates marking the completion of a computer literacy program and friends and family members of those seniors.

The cooking was done by City Chaplain Rev. Rodney Jones with the serving being done by Mayor Heard, Senior Center Manager Sandra Thornton, City Clerk/Treasurer Deborah Gilbert and Recreation Director Trent McCants.

With Thursday’s weather being mild and sunny, the cookout took place outside the center. Tables were set up on the walkway between the Recreation Department and the Senior Center. Two long tables were just below the steps and underneath some tents.

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Everyone could smell the catfish cooking on the grill while some vintage soul and classic rock played on a sound system. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, “Easy” by the Commodores, “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” by Gladys Knight and the Pips and “Sara Smile” by Hall and Oates brought back lots of memories for those who were there.

Some of the seniors showed that they still have some pretty good dance moves.

Many of the seniors were dressed in their light green “Spice of Life” t-shirts celebrating Older Americans Month. Those shirts were given to them earlier this month by the Reed Foundation. The Lanett seniors wore them to the annual May Day celebration hosted at the Talladega SuperSpeedway.

Just before the serving took place, Mayor Heard thanked everyone for being there and for maintaining an active lifestyle in their golden years.

Each plate had three catfish filets, cold slaw, French fries, macaroni, hush puppies and dessert. It was washed down by the senior’s choice of ice tea or cold lemonade.

Senior Center Manager Thornton thanked her staff for putting in a long day to make the fish fry a fun event for all.

The seniors received an unexpected treat when 16-year-old Kalisa Lynch sang Amazing Grace for them. She has an exceptional voice and has been singing for crowds since she first performed at a Black History program in the West Point gym when she was four years old.

John F. Kennedy was the first president to issue a proclamation recognizing Older Americans Month. At the time, approximately one-third of American seniors were living in poverty and close to half were without health insurance. The nation rallied together to confront this crisis by passing Medicare to deliver affordable, quality healthcare to our seniors; strengthening Social Security, the bedrock of American retirement, and ultimately raising many seniors out of poverty.