In celebration of Older Americans Month, officials in Harrisburg Monday recognized the positive contributions of seniors to our society.

The theme of this year's commemoration, "Never Too Old to Play," focuses on the importance of older adults staying active as well as sharing their experiences, wisdom, and knowledge with other generations.

Brian Duke, state secretary for the Department of Aging, said Pennsylvania, which ranks fourth in the nation in aging population, has been blessed with many contributions from these older adults and that this month gives us a great opportunity to thank them for their efforts.

In presenting a proclamation recognizing older citizens for their positive contributions in society, Lt. Governor Jim Cawley stated that since 1963, communities across the nation have joined in the annual commemoration of Older Americans Month.

For the last 23 years, Carbon County has certainly been a pace-setter in that endeavor, providing a stage for its seniors to celebrate their active lifestyles.

Organizers of this year's Senior Games, including Anne Horrigan, coordinator; Victor Pituch, director; Cheri Santore, director of the Carbon County Area Agency on Aging; and Cindy Bizzare, administrative assistant, deserve gold medals themselves for providing opportunities for seniors to enjoy the competitions while building new friendships.

A member of the younger generation, Devon Bizarre, a Weatherly Area High School junior, also deserves special recognition for raising $3,500 for this year's games as her senior project.

In opening the Games last week, Carbon County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein jokingly pointed out that there were five rules in place to guide the competitors: No biting, no kicking, no hitting below the belt, no one getting hurt and especially, having a good time.

With those lighthearted guidelines in mind, many seniors in Carbon County are shining examples of being "Never Too Old to Play."

By Jim Zbick