Senior Games shaping up for 22nd year
AMY ZUBEK/TIMES NEWS Bob Penberth of Lansford, left, and Ardella Eidem of Lehighton, practice throwing darts during Friday's open practice session. Penberth has competed in the Carbon County Senior Games three times, while 2010 marks the first year that Eidem will be a participant.
Seniors, dust off your dancing shoes, loosen up your throwing arms and brush up on your bingo skills.
It's almost time for the 2010 Carbon County Senior Games.
The Senior Games, which is celebrating 22 years of competition, will be held May 4 through May 13 for county residents ages 60 and older. Locations for the events include the Lehighton Recreation Center, Panther Valley High School, Terpstra's, Jim Thorpe/Penn Kidder Senior Center, Go-Fore-Hole, Cypress Lanes, Fritz's Lanes, and Baer Memorial Field.
The organizers of this year's games are Anne Horrigan, coordinator; Victor Pituch, director; Cheri Santore, director of the Carbon County Area Agency on Aging; and Cindy Bizzare, administrative assistant. National Honor Society students and Panther Valley JROTC members, as well as senior center managers also help to make the event a success.
"We want to thank everyone for their help to make the games successful, including the students from the school districts that help officiate the games," Pituch said. "We also want to recognize Tom Evans, the man who runs the Lehighton Rec Center, because he has been a tremendous person to work with; and also the borough for its great cooperation."
Pituch added that the Lehighton Recreation Center is the "best place to have the games" because it gives them full access for the two weeks.
"Every year it gets better and better," he said. "It's wonderful that it has created so much interest since it started in 1988."
This year's games will be slightly different for the 81-year-old Pituch because he will not only be the director, but also a newly-wed. Pituch married his girlfriend, Mary (Zeleniak) Pituch on Saturday, April 10.
There are five teams that seniors will be placed on depending on which school district they reside in. Teams include Lehighton, Panther Valley, Palmerton, Weatherly and Jim Thorpe/Penn Kidder.
The defending champion is Lehighton, which placed first with a score of 675. Jim Thorpe seniors placed second with a score of 536.
Registration forms for any senior who will be 60 or older by May 4, and wants to participate in the games can be picked up at the senior centers in Lehighton, the Panther Valley area, Palmerton, Weatherly, and Penn Kidder, or at the Office of Aging in Palmerton. The registration fee is $8. Make checks payable to Carbon County Area Agency on Aging.
Forms are due by April 23. They can be returned to any of the senior centers, marked "attention: Senior Games."
The forms will then be filed and computer printouts of all competitors will be created for the games.
This year, practice sessions for the games will take place on Friday, April 16, 23, and 30, from 9 to 11 a.m. They are held at the Lehighton Recreation Center, Eighth and Iron streets. Participants who wish to practice basketball, bean bags, darts, shuffleboard or pool, can come to the center during the practice sessions.
Pituch encourages participants to utilize the practice sessions because it will help them for the games.
The list of events, which will take place at the Lehighton Recreation Center beginning at 9:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted are:
• Tuesday, May 4, opening ceremonies, shuffleboard, team pictures and bean bag toss.
• Wednesday, May 5, basketball shoot and darts.
• Thursday, May 6, pool: there are two new locations, Terpstra's, located at 501 North St., Jim Thorpe and Jim Thorpe/Penn-Kidder Senior Center, 995 Route 903, Jim Thorpe. The schedule is as follows: at Terpstra's, 9 a.m., men ages 70-74; 10:30, women 70-74; noon, men 80-84; 1 p.m., men and women 85 and up; 1:30, women 60-64. At Jim Thorpe/Penn-Kidder Senior Center, 9 a.m., men 65-69; 10 a.m.; women 65-69; 11, women 80-84; noon, men 75-79; 1 p.m., 75-79; 1:30, men 60-64. At 4 p.m., swimming. This event will be held at Panther Valley High School.
• Friday, May 7, miniature golf: 10 a.m. (75 and up); noon (60 to 74). This event will take place at Go-Fore-Hole, located on Church Hill Rd., Lehighton.
• Monday, May 10, 9 a.m., bowling (65-69, 70-74 and 80-84) at Fritz's Lanes and Pro Shop, Second and South streets, Lehighton and bowling (60-64, 75-79 and 85 and up) at Cypress Lanes, Fourth street, Lehighton. Noon, ping pong at Lehighton Recreation Center.
• Tuesday, May 11, Philip Steigerwalt Memorial Walk, softball throw, horseshoes and bocci. These events will take place at Baer Memorial Park.
• Wednesday, May 12, Bingo, pinochle and rummy, and dance competition.
• Thursday, May 13, rain date for Tuesday, May 11, and 4 p.m., banquet at Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall.