Activities director offers local seniors a plethora of activities

Seniors in Randolph County have a great number of events to fill their days thanks to the hard work of Penny Canfield, activities director at the Randolph County Senior Center.

The center is buzzing each day with seniors working on puzzles, playing bridge, taking classes or just visiting with one another.

Canfield said the best part of her job is interacting with others.

“I like just talking with the seniors to find out what is going on in their lives,” Canfield said. “We have a relationship, and they can come and talk to me about anything. I like to think I am a good listener.”

Classes that Canfield has coordinated for the seniors include weaving, exercise and Tai Chi. She said that she hopes to add a “Sweating to the Oldies” class twice weekly in July.

“We go to dinner once a month out of the area including Weston or Helvetia,” Canfield said. “We also go shopping at Meadowbrook Mall or another West Virginia mall once monthly. The seniors enjoy traveling to other towns monthly for a shorter van trip. Sometimes we go to Lewisburg, Harper’s Ferry or Blennerhassett Island. Monday, we traveled to Moundsville and toured the West Virginia Penitentiary.”

Canfield said the trips are designed with seniors in mind, but they are open for anyone who wants to travel with the center.

Another big activity for Canfield is planning bus trips.

“This summer, we are planning a five-day trip to Nashville and Memphis,” Canfield said. “It will include hotel, travel, shows and most meals. Details for the trip are available by contacting the Randolph County Senior Center at 304-636-4747 ext. 107.”

Canfield began her career with the Randolph County Senior Center in October 1990 working with In-Home Care.

“I accepted the activities director position in 1999 when Betty Haynes retired,” Canfield said. “I have enjoyed working here every day since.”

Canfield said she loves the day-to-day activities and likes planing parties.

“We have birthday and holiday parties and everyone really has a great time,” she said. “I also help coordinate the Senior Bazaar each year at the center during the Mountain State Forest Festival and the Christmas Bazaar. This gives seniors a venue to showcase their handmade craft items and goodies.”

Other large events Canfield coordinates are the Valentine King and Queen crowning and breakfasts celebrating Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. She also plans the Memorial Service commemorating Memorial Day.

“The center also sponsors a book sale daily,” Canfield said. “We sell hardback books for 25 cents, softback books for 10 cents and magazines for 10 cents. The money from the book sale is donated to the center’s Alzheimer’s walking team.”

“Also, skeins of yarn and bolts of material are donated to the center,” Canfield said. “We have a large sale, and use the materials and sewing notions and patterns here at the center. Money from that sale goes for birthday celebrations and cake.”