Bingo action came fast and furious as senior citizens gathered Thursday for a morning of games and lunch at the Pshigoda Foundation senior citizens center.

More than 65 seniors played for 250 prizes furnished by roughly 30 health care providers in an attempt to increase attendance at the site where the Lamar Council of Human Resources Meals on Wheels program provides daily activities and a meal.

The brainstorm of Mike Patterson of Hearts & Hands Homecare and Timothy Walsworth of Summit Hospice, seniors played for Valentine candy, household and personal hygiene items and plethora of miscellaneous decor.

“This center is a good resource for seniors,” Walsworth said. “Attendance has dwindled over the years, and we thought this event might make more people aware of the services offered.”

The center has been in operation for more than 20 years.

“When I started in my business more than 10 years ago, there were activities here all the time,” Patterson said. “As time went on the attendance decreased, and we just want to let people know the center is here and what activities they can get including a free hot meal.”

Site manager Clara Waters said the center is open Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with lunch served beginning at 11 a.m. Seniors 60 years and older are welcomed.

“We have activities planned daily, we furnish supplies for arts and crafts and we play a variety of games including dominos, Skip Bo and other card games,” Waters said.

Hellen Hively, who won a box of Valentine candy, said she remembers when the center was quite busy when she came years ago with her sister.

“I am going to see about coming back,” she said.

Carol Dickson commented how nice and courteous everyone had been.

“I had a blast,” she said. “The volunteers took time to make us feel welcome. I can tell you one thing, Paris takes care of its senior citizens.”

Plans call for providers to host another bingo event at the center from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. March 26.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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