Seniors make better choices for better health, life

  • Seniors participate in an invigorating dance exercise routine at the Sept. 14 reunion in Blackville.

Motivation, fun, fitness and testimonials were the experiences of over 100 seniors who reunited on Thursday, September 14 for having made the Better Choices Better Health workshop a part of their everyday living.

Citizens from Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties as well as members of Macedonia, Tabernacle, Thankful, and Second Baptist churches gathered at the Blackville Community Center to re-examine the goals they had set upon completion of the six-week workshop. Participants ages 94 and younger expressed their wellness in varied ways including dance, exercise and singing. Betty Thompson and other leaders/facilitators, who themselves are completers, guided the group in introductions and self-sharing.

A memorial was held for the deceased completers. The Traveling Stars of Blackville provided an uplifting spiritual arrangement of Christian songs. Dewayne Eubanks was the inspirational speaker who shared his testimonial story overcoming cancer. However, he informed the participants that they were motivation to him.

Program and community partners; Sabrina Ussery of Lower Savannah Council of Aging, Joyce Brooks of Barnwell County Veterans Affairs, Brenda Thrope of DHEC, attorneys Wil Alexander and Adrian Pandev, Evelyn Coker of Blackville Community Development Corporation and Brenda Sept, a local Funeral Advantage/Life Insurance Specialist shared about additional resources available to seniors. Other community leader attendees included Blackville-Hilda Public School Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson, Blackville Police Chief John Holston who is also the First Steps Board Chair, and Hilary Hindman of Barnwell County Eat Smart Move More. Special guest, Representative Lonnie Hosey, expressed joy in seeing so many out for the event and thanked all for their testimonies and the commitment to “living a healthy lifestyle”.

The seniors were engaged in an interactive, exhilarating exercise entertainment experience led by Angela Youmans of Low Country Healthcare Systems. A delicious luncheon was served as provided by the completers of the workshops. Every attendee received a valuable gift that had been donated by several supporters. Words of appreciation were provided by lead volunteer facilitator Earnestine Gloster and Ethel T. Faust, who is the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) Liaison for Generations Unlimited, the Barnwell County Office on Aging in partnership with S.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Office and S.C. DHEC’s Bureau of Chronic Disease & Community Health Prevention.

Special thanks was extended to Mayor Mike Beasley and the Town of Blackville for their partnership as the facility host and Lisa Firmender for Generations Unlimited being the hosting agency.

Leaders/facilitators continue to outreach for new participants in the Better Choices Better Health workshops with a focus on faith-based groups, community and civic groups and a special target for men and younger adults. Better Choices Better Health is a program that is impacted by research proven strategies for anyone who may have a chronic issue such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, pain and depression or care for some who does.

Contact Earnestine Gloster at 284-2991 or Ethel T. Faust at 671-4728 for a presentation and to become a workshop completer.