Corryton Senior Center Welcomes Mayor Glenn Jacobs
By Amy Box Fellhoelter
Upon entering the 13-year-old Corryton Senior Center, you not only step onto their walking track, but also into a place of warm, welcoming smiles from staff and community members. This was especially true at the Open House for Mayor Glenn Jacobs held last Thursday except the air was additionally filled with the smell of turkey and dressing and music played by the Corryton Jam members. The center opened its doors to more than 50 seniors with a potluck lunch and a cake for the mayor, alongside a staff excited to show off its growth and amenities.
Kathy Romines, a regular senior at the center, said, “It’s great to have the mayor make this visit. When you come here, you see those, even older than me, enjoying life. I’m so glad we have this. This center is a lot like a church. It’s so good for seniors to get out and to have this. And another thing, it’s free! If you can get here, then there is something for everyone.”
From a card-making class to gardening to yoga to service projects to travel, opportunities abound for those citizens 50 years old and older. In March, the center’s House Mountain Quilter’s Guild visited Pigeon Forge for Quilt Fest. Another senior lady commented that she attends five classes a week.
After thanking the sponsors for their support, Senior Services Manager April Tomlin introduced Mayor Jacobs who is choosing to prioritize a visit to each senior center in Knox County. This center is his third stop, having already seen the centers in Karns and Halls.
“I appreciate you all being here today. We don’t talk about our senior centers probably enough and all the things that you all do,” began Major Jacobs.
He then spoke about READ CITY USA, an avenue to promote reading in the community by taking a pledge to read every day. “We do other things for entertainment now and the result has been that we don’t read as well as we used to …. We just have to start reading again as a culture. What is so wonderful about this room is you guys have tons of experience, lots of wisdom, and lots of knowledge. Unfortunately, due to societal changes our young people need that … that’s where you all can step in and really make a difference. I would like to see you all get involved in the READ CITY USA program. Because I think it is something that you can make a difference at and touch the lives of our young people,” he concluded.
He toured the facility which houses a library, a craft room, an exercise room, a room for quilting, a billiards room, offices, and a large community room with a kitchen. While the mayor commented on the hanging quits adorning several hallways and rooms, he stopped for seniors to take his picture or share with him about their center involvement.
He wholeheartedly thanked the quilters many times for their hard work and service to the community. In the last four years, the quilting group has doubled in size.
Judicial Magistrate Ray H. Jenkins commented, “It shows a priority for the mayor to come out to the far reaches of these communities. They are a cultural center for life-long friends.”
Others in attendance were Veterans and Senior Services Director Buzz Buswell, Corryton Senior Center Coordinator Jill Green, Knox County Law Director Richard “Bud” Armstrong, and those manning five vendor tables and several activity tables.
Center Assistant Belynda Jenkins explained some seniors drive from Mascot, Seymour, and other counties to be involved in the activities. “One lady comes from Seymour just for the Quilter’s Guild,” she added.
For more information on the Corryton Senior Center or the five facilities serving senior residents, check the Knox County Senior Services Facebook Page or visit www.knoxcounty.org/seniors for classes and information specific to each center. For information about READ CITY USA, go to www.readcityusa.com.