Flame award presented to Pickens seniors

PICKENS — The Senior Citizens of Pickens, Inc., best known for operation of the Pickens Senior Center, recently received the September We Fan the Flame award.

The stated purpose of the organization and its Senior Center is “to provide a place for fellowship, entertainment, recreation and nutritious meals for seniors in the …community.”

The organization has achieved unqualified success in assisting all seniors in maintaining their quality of life and independence.

It took the hard work and dedication of a number of people to make it all happen. It all started in 2008 when a number of concerned citizens decided to try and obtain the vacant Ben Hagood Elementary School – envisioning it as a place for senior activities. They reached an agreement with the City of Pickens, and the Pickens County School District, for use of the school. A non-profit corporation was formed and restoration of the building began. Successful fund-raising efforts included a grant from the Lt. Governor’s office as well as business and individual donations. Eighty percent of the renovation is done with only the auditorium portion to complete.

The original purpose of the organization has certainly been realized. Lunch is offered Monday through Friday with 50 or more citizens served each day. Dinner and music are offered on Tuesday evenings. Daily activities include card games, puzzles, pool and bingo. The Senior Band entertains on a regular basis and there is always a celebration on holidays.

The Hagood Community Center, home of the Pickens Senior Center, also provides a meeting place and home for the Young Appalachian Musicians, Cannon Hospital Fitness Programs, Weight Watchers, Southern Traditions band, and the New Beginnings Church. Some local businesses, civic and individual groups also utilize the facilities, and it serves as a precinct voting place during the elections. Most recently, a new line dancing instruction class started on Wednesdays

It is noteworthy that the board members, activity leaders and kitchen staff are all volunteers. Twenty to thirty individuals give of their time each week. Truly the success of the organization in renovation, fund raising and programs, as well as the dedication of so many individuals, deserves “fan” recognition.

We Fan The Flame recognizes group contributions that make Pickens a better place to live. It is presented by the Pickens Revitalization Association and the city of Pickens. The award program is open to any civic, school, charitable, religious, cultural, non-profit, business, senior youth, association or similar organization. Entries should be submitted to the PRA by the 15th of each month and will be considered throughout the year. Entry forms are available at