By: Claude Milot

As taxpayers we often wonder if our tax dollars are being used wisely. On the state and especially on the federal level we envision our income taxes going into a big, black hole, only to emerge later as funding for pro-grams like the one that gave a million dollars to the National Heath Institute to determine if male fruit flies are more attracted to young female fruit flies than older ones.

Closer to home, however, we get a better look at how our taxes are being used, and we do have a say about it through our local government. Our new library is one example of a popular project funded by our taxes. Another is the Perquimans County Senior Citizens Center (PCSCC).

The PCSCC at 1072 Harvey Point Road is a marvelous facility available to all county residents 55 years and older. In 8,000 square feet of space, it houses adminis-trative offices plus a multi-purpose room, a crafts room, a computer center, a pool room, a lunch room, and an exercise room. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday.
The center buzzes with activity, hosting between 70 and 100 seniors every day. Line dancing, Zumba, billiards, ping pong, cards, and corn hole games are just some of the activities available. The center also offers Tai Chi, Yoga, and low impact aerobics classes, and, if that’s not enough, it organizes bocce tournaments, pickle ball games, and 2K walks at the Recreation Center. It has even taken seniors for ziplining in Fayetteville, and September will bring an archery contest and a trip to the Chesapeake Club for croquet.

Most impressive are the entertainment and educational programs regularly presented at the center. These have included not only music and choir concerts, but also special presentations by experts on the law, medical care, nutrition, safety, and even protection from scams targeting seniors.

Because the center has the use of a county van, it has been able to take up to 14 seniors to entertainment venues like the Onley Place in Belvidere and shows at the Carolina Moon Theater, plus tours of Eden-ton’s historical sites like the Harriet Jacobs tour. “Doing things as a group nurtures fellowship,” says center coordinator Beverly Gregory. “It advances the common goal of helping each other.”

Another important function of the PCSCC is facilitating Meals on Wheels, the nutrition program for homebound seniors. This program is funded by the Albemarle Commission, but relies on private donations as well and especially on volunteers to deliver the meals.

Some Albemarle Plantation residents are quite familiar with the center, having enjoyed line dancing there or volunteered for Meals on Wheels. More volunteers are always needed, but also welcome are people with special talents to teach computer skills or creative artwork, even do cooking presentations.

Lastly, since most seniors who frequent the center have never set foot on the Plantation, it might be enjoyable for them to tour our community. After all, most of us are seniors, too. That would fit the center’s mission statement: to improve and enhance the quality of life of our older adult population and to promote their participation in all aspects of community life.

For more information about the programs, trips, and volunteer opportunities, see the PCSCC website at: http://www.pcseniors.org/ Or, just stop by the center on your way home from Food Lion or the bank. You’ll be glad that you did.