2/20/2018 4:06:00 PM Love, hugs for seniors on Hug Your Heart Day
Members of the Jackson Area YMCA’s Togetherhood organization are pictured holding the fresh flowers and handmade valentines which were presented to each senior citizen attending the annual Hug Your Heart Day event, held last Wednesday (Valentine’s Day) at the YMCA. Pictured (from the left) are: Jackson Area YMCA Executive Director Shadra Jenkins, and Togetherhood members Bob Mossbarger and Terry Gahm; Togetherhood President Janie Powell, and Togetherhood members Jeanne Leach, Skip Althoff, and Cindy Cross. (Telegram Photo By Pete Wilson)
Valentine's Day is supposed to be about showing and sharing love and 123 senior citizens were on the receiving end at the 7th Annual "Hug Your Heart Day" held Wednesday, Feb. 14 at the Jackson Area YMCA. Counting the agency representatives and volunteers who helped put on the event, nearly 200 persons were in attendance.
Conducted with the support of business and community sponsors and volunteers, Hug Your Heart Day showers senior citizens with a special two-hour event which includes a free lunch, games, health and memory screenings, an exercise session, and the chance to win prizes. Each senior citizen was also presented a fresh flower donated by Wanda Cross and Elizabeth's Flowers and Gifts of Jackson, and a homemade card created by the Southview Elementary third-grade students of teacher Jaclyn Schumacher. YMCA Executive Director Shadra Jenkins also personally made sure there were plenty of hugs to go around as well.
"We had a flower and a valentine card for everybody and people could win prizes, but most of all, we gave hugs," a pleased Jenkins exclaimed. "It went wonderfully and everybody had a great time. I always enjoy this event."
Among the participating agencies and organizations are: The Jackson Area YMCA, Holzer Medical Center-Jackson, Adena Health Center-Jackson, Jenkins Care Community, Four Winds Community, National Church Residences, Lincare, Edgewood Manor, Heartland of Jackson, Heartland Hospice, RSVP of the Ohio Valley, the Area Agency on Aging, the Jackson County Heart Support Group, Jackson County Senior Citizens Program, and the Jackson-Vinton Community Action Agency Transportation Department.
The Jackson Area YMCA's Togetherhood chapter volunteers were on present to help host the event and the YMCA's Silver Sneakers instructors Doris Roberts and Juanita Smith conducted exercise sessions especially designed for senior citizens. As for the games, Jackson City Councilman and Jackson County Commissioner candidate Jon Hensler conducted a version of "The Not So Newlywed Game," Sandy Borden of Jenkins Care Community hosted a version of "The Price Is Right" game, and Sandra DeHart of Holzer Medical Center-Jackson conducted "Valentine Bingo" games. Valet services were provided by the Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home and owner David Gillum, as well as the Mayhew-Brown Funeral Home and owner Jason Brown.
Jenkins noted the 8th Annual Hug Your Heart Day would be held on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.