Residents from the Oak Brook Health Care Center in Whitehouse brought home the first place trophy from the 36th Senior Olympic Games held Nov. 2 at Harvey Hall in Tyler.
Oak Brook seniors participated in a variety of events including walking races, a spelling bee, domino and horse shoe tournaments, a baseball throwing contest and wheelchair races among others, stated activities director, Shanna Kennedy.
Edith Jackson, a resident who took second in a walking race, says she has participated before and taken gold and bronze in previous years.
Cindy Staples, a contestant in the spelling bee, says she didn’t place this year but was second last year and honorable mention in 2015. In order to prepare for the spelling bee, Staples said she was given a list of spelling words a few months prior to the event at Harvey Hall.
Jackson also stated Oak Brook held practice games a couple days before the actual event.
Both Jackson and Staples enjoy being a part of the games. “I love to be busy and I just love to be with people,” Jackson said.
“It’s fun and you meet all kinds of people,” Staples stated.
“The camaraderie between us, it makes us proud to be associated with all the members that went,” said Jackson.
In years past, students from Whitehouse and Tyler Junior College studying to be nurses as well as pharmacy students from University of Texas-Tyler have attended the games with Oak Brook residents, according to Jackson.
This year Whitehouse High School students assisted the seniors during the games, stated Kennedy.
While Jackson and Staples both called it a good day, Staples says she “was give out” by the end.
Seniors who participated, but did not place in their events were Tina Allsman, walking race; L. Davis in dominoes; Kathy Diviney, horseshoe toss; Holly Dyer in the baseball toss; Audrey Rodgers, wheelchair race; Cindy Staples, spelling bee and B. West in dancing and horse shoes.
Residents taking third place were J. Jordan, wheelchair race; Marjorie Kirkpatrick, walking race and G. Manuela, walking race.
Second place winners were Sarah Armstrong, horse shoes; M. Bilderback, wheelchair; G. Brombaugh, baseball throw; James Childress, horse shoes; C. Cook, walking; K. Cooper, wheelchair races; Tommie Cortez, baseball toss; Babby Elkins, walking race; G. Falk, wheelchair race; M. Fritz, horse shoe toss; Hazel Hayes, horse shoes; Edith Jackson, walking race; Totsie Large, horse shoes; M. Lawson, baseball throw; W. Malcolm, walking; Norma Malone, walking; Kathy Mullican, walking race; Jane Peterson, walking race; Joyce Skipper, wheelchair race and Ethel Washburn, walking race.
Those earning gold medals were Luis Aguila, wheelchair race; J. Carr, walking race; Jessie Clanton, walking; L. Fowler, horse shoes and Sueanna Hinde, wheelchair.
Around 20 facilities participated in the games including those from Rusk, Whitehouse, Grand Saline, Jacksonville, Tyler and other surrounding areas, reported Kennedy. The event is held for seniors in long term or assisted living and is sponsored by East Texas Chapter of Activity Professionals.