Just like the song they sing implies, they are a happy group who gets together every Friday night to share a few laughs and provide a support system for all those who are members.
Sponsored by the Clinton Recreation and Parks Department, the Golden Age Fun Club meets every week at the Bellamy Center. The club, organized in the early 70s, is a great opportunity for senior citizens to get out of their homes and spend time with others.
Just like any other club, their weekly meeting follows an agenda. Starting with their opening with a rendition of the “Senior Citizen’s Song” and ending with a light meal and social time, the club follows that agenda, taking care of business each and every week.
According to Ruth Roderick, who joined the club along with her husband Rod in 2000, said there are about 31 paid members. Both Ruth and Rod say they would like to see more people come out and join the group and take advantage of the fun times.
“There is a wonderful group of men and women here,” Ruth said, as she sat down to talk while taking a break from a game of BINGO during last week’s meeting. “We look forward to every Friday when we get to come out here and be with everyone.”
Ruth and Rod moved to Clinton from Maryland about 16 years ago. As soon as they were settled, Ruth, who is from Clinton, said they began looking for something to spend their time doing.
“We started line dancing,” Ruth said. “We stopped doing that and started coming here.”
Over the years, Ruth shared, the group’s numbers have fallen off. When Ruth and Rod began coming, she said there were about 50 members who attended weekly. Now, there are about 15 who come on a regular basis.
Ruth, who admits everyone who is a member wants to be, said anyone interested in the group is welcome to come out and join them for a few Fridays and see if they like it.
“We want people to come check us out and see if they like it and want to join,” Ruth shared.
Notre Yarborough, who is the oldest member of the club, joined after her husband died. She joined when she was 64 years old and is now 88. Come rain or shine, Yarborough said she makes it every Friday night.
“I enjoy being with the people,” Yarborough said.
In the club’s earlier years, Yarborough said she was very active playing basketball and performing on the cheering squad. Now, she simply likes coming so she can be with her friends.
Yarborough does participate in the club’s band, the 76’ers.
The band was organized in 1975 with only eight members. In the earlier years, the band would meet at the home of Cleone Cooper, band director, to practice hymns and were accompanied by Lillian Collins on the piano.
Sophia Creeger joined the club in 2009 after the death of her husband.
“At first, after he died, I didn’t even want to get out of the house,” Creeger said. “Then, I started coming here with my best friend and I fell in love with everyone. This place has been my salvation.”
Creeger said she looks forward to coming out each and every Friday night and participating in all the activities. She really enjoys the line dancing and themed parties.
“Everything is so much fun,” Creeger said. “Everyone is so good to you. You miss it when you are gone.”
The club, Creeger added, gives her something to do other days of the week as well. She likes getting together with some of the other ladies and knitting.
“These guys are my friends forever,” she said.
Both Peggy Dudley and Sarah Johnson started coming after the deaths of their husband. Both ladies love coming and spending time with their friends.
“Unless I can’t walk, I’m here,” Johnson said. “I like coming out and talking with my friends.”
Dudley said the club meetings are a great outing for senior citizens and a wonderful way for them to meet other people.
“I wish we had more members,” Dudley said.
Phyllis McKee is no different. She said she started coming to the meetings in 2003 as a means for entertainment.
“I always know I have something to do on Friday nights,” McKee said.
The club meets every Friday night from 5-7 p.m., but when days get shorter, they meet from 4-6 p.m. For more information, contact the Bellamy Center at 910-299-4900.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.