North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

August 10, 2012

Progress 2012: Morris center popular with senior set

By Nathan Prewett
North Jefferson News

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Christi Blankenship, director of the Morris Senior Center, has deep admiration for the town of Morris. 

“I really enjoy it,” she said. “People here are super nice. If you need anything from them, you just ask. I couldn’t have picked a better group of people to work with.” 

Though it can be rented out for parties, reunions and other events, the center mainly functions as a place for senior citizens to keep each other company and enjoy entertainment. The center also provides meals for its members. 

Games are popular at the senior center. In fact, some of its members will be participating in the upcoming Masters Games, which a statewide competition where seniors can compete for medals. The Masters Games was started by the State of Alabama and has been going for several years. 

“It’s like an Olympics for seniors,” said Blankenship. “I’m trying to get a tournament brought here hopefully next month.” 

Games at the Master Games include dominoes, frisbee throw, tennis, checkers and others. 

Membership at the center remains stable, according to Blankenship. But every now and then, there will be new visitors that Blankenship hopes will join. She said that the center is always welcoming new members. 

“I’ve always had a few people come in to look and check everything out,” she said. “I don’t like to push them and say ‘go ahead and join, go ahead and join.’ I want them to feel comfortable, so hopefully they’ll be joining soon.” 

The building that serves as the senior center goes back a long way. Before its current use, it was possibly a town hall in Morris, Blankenship said. The front of the building was a fire station, while another portion was a jail. 

It was converted into the Morris Senior Center in the 1980s.