WHEELWRIGHT – The City of Wheelwright, located on the far outskirts of Floyd County, is a former coal camp town. Founded by the Elk Horn Coal Company in 1916, it was named for the company’s president at that time, Jere H. Wheelwright. The town is a community rich on heritage and community spirit. The Wheelwright Senior Citizen Center is one of the social hubs of the community. Director Lois Curry sat down with the Floyd County Times to discuss what makes her center and her little town special.
“I consider the seniors here family and they consider me and each other family,” said Curry.
The center usually has 10 to 12 seniors that come every day.
“There are certain people if they don’t show up, we get worried about them and go check on them,”said Curry.
Joan Fick, one of the center regulars use to bring her mother to the center. Since her mother’s passing, she continues to come to the center and visit with friends and reminisce about memories of her mother and the place and friends she loved dearly.
The center offers a variety of activities such as the Walk with Ease program, Program for Better Living, which teaches exercises geared toward those suffering from arthritis, Matter of Balance, which manages concerns about falls, and one of the center favorites Bingocize. Participants of Bingocize play five games of Bingo, then exercise for a few minutes.
“I enjoy coming to the center and come as much as I can. My granddaughter lives with me, so when she is in school I enjoy coming and talking to Lois, Jamie, Bert, Barb Walter and the rest of the gang. It’s good social interaction to know I can come down, see my friends and enjoy a cup of coffee and chat,” said Sharon Parker.
With the recent wave of bad weather, Curry was worried about the people of the community. She made sure to prepare for the bad weather. Curry gave clients the phone numbers to City Hall, the fire station, and even her personal home number in case they needed her. She gave the local Library Coordinator Sam Little, the keys to the center in case someone without heat needed a warm place to stay.
It isn’t the building, the programs, or the activities that make Wheelwright Senior Citizen Center so special and successful. It is the Director Lois Curry, and the seniors that meet everyday at the center to talk, eat, and enjoy each other’s company.
“Living in Pikeville for years, I recently retired from work in the social services field. Since retirement, I have visited several centers in search of a place I felt, welcome, accepted, and wanted. I found that place at the Wheelwright Senior Citizens Center, “said Walter Lane.
The senior is open daily Monday- Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at 606-794-0290.