Heardmont Park celebrates 10th anniversary with luau

(L-R) Larry Dillard, James Estes, Deb Taylor, Alex Dudchock, Kay Mundy and David Estes.

On Sept. 9, Heardmont Senior Center Manager Theresa Green greeted more than 90 festive guests. The room was brimming with activity, a luau in progress, celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Attending were founders and supporters, Shelby County officials, including Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock. “We’re here to celebrate,” he said.

Major Benefactor James Estes, owner of nursing homes, came in honor of his deceased wife Mary Ellen. Her name graces the building. Estes said, “It still looks good after 10 years. I’m proud to be a part of this.”

Celebrants wore leis, bright Hawaiian shirts and flowery dresses. One even came in a grass skirt. Live steel drum reggae and calypso provided nice backdrop music. A buffet table held a barbecue lunch. Folks lined up, filling plates. White linen clad tables with fresh flower centerpieces awaited diners.

Kay Mundy of Shelby County Parks and Recreation stopped to chat.

“There’s been a lot of growth over the last 10 years,” she said, “We began with 25 members total, and today we have 60-70 attending each day, and 200 are enrolled. Seniors desire more than in the past, are more active, wanting to exercise.”

Heardmont provides those active seniors just what’s needed. The schedule includes Tai Chi classes, Zumba Gold, fitness, dance, driving and computer lessons, and much more. Regular trips are made by groups going to local, regional, national and international destinations. They are full of vim and vigor, plenty of spunk.

Shelby County Commissioner Larry Dillard told of the park history. He said, “Land came available 10 years ago. We met with neighbors first, and partnered with Shelby County Board of Education. In an attempt to meet the needs of all, children through retirement age, we came up with a plan including the senior center, walking trails, playground, soccer field and stadium. This 78-acre park is the result of hard work. The senior center is a multi-use facility. Other groups use it, too. Heardmont Park is a win-win, for everyone.”

Deb Taylor, who was Heardmont Senior Center’s first manager, said, “It was a blessed group of people who came together and made this happen. It was God who deserves to be honored.” Estes nodded his agreement.

Newcomers are welcomed every day at Heardmont Senior Center.

“Come join us, and get the word out to others,” said Manager Theresa Green.

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at gsherrer07@yahoo.com.