Music, laughter and around 450 people filled the Thornton Center Wednesday as senior adults from seven counties gathered for the 33rd annual Senior Inforum put on by the Rome Senior Promotions Council of the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Department. This year’s theme was “Bee Kind.”
Bob Rudert, chairman of the council, said the event was designed to get active adults out in the community to have fun and to get connected with adults from other communities.
There were also vendors set up in the Thornton Recreation Center with booths geared toward the inforum participants.
One of the vendors was Compassionate PAWS, a local pet therapy service that brings dogs and even a therapy rat to events just to be petted and relieve stress.
“There are a lot of different disciplines that work with seniors,” Rudert said.
Steve Dennis was the speaker for Wednesday’s inforum. He shared a bit of his life story with listeners including the fact that his father was 61 when Dennis was born.
“And that was before the blue pill,” he said.
Dennis talked about how important it is to leave a legacy behind by investing time into those around them. He called up Anne Youngblood and had the crowd of over 400 clap and cheer for her. His point was that making Youngblood feel loved, supported and celebrated did not cost anything but time.
“The difference in growing old and getting old is that when you grow old you have more to give,” he said.
Sandra Langston of the Silver Sneakers exercise group said she really enjoyed Dennis’ speech. The Silver Sneakers group took up two tables and meet Monday through Thursday at the Charles C. Parker Senior Center to walk and do light exercises, she said.
Another attendee of the inforum was World War II veteran Jim McCubbin who was a prisoner of war after he was shot down by German aircraft. McCubbin said he took at least nine German planes down before he had to eject out of his plane. He said he had to go door to door and beg for food and shelter behind enemy lines for weeks before he was captured. He spent five weeks in prison before being released.
What McCubbin left out was that he returned to Germany after the war and tried to find the people who helped him, U.S. Navy veteran James “Bud” Ware said. The third veteran at the table, Keith Finley, who also served with the Navy, said his ship was just about to deploy to the Pacific when the Japanese surrendered.