Senior center holds first Black and White banquet

Published 8:36 am Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Sulphur Senior Center coordinator Cynthia Beverly decided it was time to get seniors out of their comfort zone, so she rented a hall in Lake Charles for the first-ever Sulphur Senior Center Black and White banquet. It was held Saturday, Sept. 25, at Becky’s Catering. Around 70 seniors attended.

Because of all the isolation due to COVID, Beverly wanted seniors to have a reason to dress up, get out of the house and have a nice meal at a place other than the center. Care Help got on board by issuing $25 gift certificates seniors could use to purchase black and white clothing and accessories, or other needs, for the event.

“One of the attendees thanked me for giving her a reason to wear makeup,” Beverly said. “She told me she hadn’t worn any in years. Another said he had not sat at a decorated table in so long, he wasn’t sure how to feel. Because of our partnership with local business, industry and local government, we are able to do this.”

She explained the relationship between Calcasieu Council on Aging (CCOA) and The Sulphur Senior Center using familial terms.

“CCOA is like the mama over all of us,” she said. “But our sponsors, they’re like the big sisters and big brothers who provide additional resources. Not every center has this level of financial backing.”

Beverly and assistant coordinator Barbara Daniels are employed by CCOA. The city provides the space.

“We are like family here,” she said. “We love on each other. Sure, we’re human. We know somebody might kick off some mess, but we are here having fun and enjoying each other’s company.

“So many people think the Senior Center is a retirement home and that we’re sitting around watching TV and knitting.”

CCOA centers are required to host educational events. The most recent in Sulphur focused on booster vaccines, breast cancer and open enrollment for healthcare. They do play Bingo, but Beverly is keen on mixing it up.

“Last week, I asked the bingo winner to tell everyone what the Sulphur Senior Center means to her, and she said this means family when I feel like I don’t have any family.”

The woman started going to the center after her husband died, and like so many of her generation, she married very young.

“I didn’t get to be a kid,” the woman told Beverly and the other seniors. “But I can come here and feel like a kid, and no one will judge me.”