Breckenridge Texan

Seniors, guests gather for final bingo game at the Breckenridge Senior Citizens Center

Seniors, guests gather for final bingo game at the Breckenridge Senior Citizens Center
June 26
10:23 2020

Tracy Sullivan has been calling bingo games at the Breckenridge Senior Citizens Center for almost six years, but Thursday, June 25, was the last game for Sullivan and the seniors at the City facility on North Smith Street.

Sue Barrier talks with Breckenridge City Commissioner Rob Durham at the Senior Citizens Center on Thursday. Durham came as Barrier’s guest and played in the last bingo game at the center, which is closing at the end of this month. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

The City of Breckenridge is closing the senior center, and plans are in the works for Stephens Memorial Hospital to take over the services. The center will close on June 30, with sandwiches on the menu for today, June 26, and Monday, June 29. Click here for more details on the future of the Senior Citizens Center.

On Thursday, about 30 local senior citizens and some guests played for a chance to choose something from the prize table, which included a variety of household items such as laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper and paper towels, as well as some other items, like yard decorations, notepads, etc. Tammy Woodrum assisted Sullivan in verifying each winner’s card throughout the games.

Following the game of bingo, Cheryle VanMeter, the center’s last remaining employee, served a meal of chicken spaghetti, barbecue shredded pork, Ranch Style Beans and fruit salad to the seniors and their guests.

Sullivan, who works for Kindred Home Health, said that before the center was shut down due to the threat from COVID-19,  the weekly bingo games brought in an almost-capacity crowd. But, since the games resumed a few weeks ago, there have been quite a few empty chairs.

She said she hopes to continue calling the games if the center re-opens at the hospital. “It’s one of my favorite things to do,” Sullivan said.

The current working plan, which hasn’t yet been approved by the hospital district’s board of directors, is to move the center’s services to a room at the hospital that will be dedicated as a senior center. The meals will be prepared in the hospital’s cafeteria.

Currently, due to continued COVID-19-related restrictions by the State of Texas, the hospital cannot open the center or serve meals at the hospital. Those planning the transition hope to open a full-service senior citizens center, including bingo games, at the hospital as soon as possible.

However, the hospital has already taken over the preparations of the meals that are delivered to home-bound residents, and beginning on July 1 those senior citizens who normally eat at the Senior Citizens Center will be able to call in an order and pick up a take-out meal at the hospital, according to Chris Curtis, Practice Administrator for SMH. To place an order, local residents can call 254-559-2241.

Cheryle VanMeter, director of the Breckenridge Senior Citizens Center, serves one of the last meals at the center on Thursday. The center will close at the end of the month. Pending approval by the Stephens Memorial Hospital District Board of Directors, the services will be moved to the hospital. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

To see more photos from Thursday morning’s bingo game and meal at the Breckenridge Senior Citizens Center, click here for the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery.

Story by Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Tracy Sullivan, left, with Kindred Home Health, calls the last bingo game at the Breckenridge Senior Citizens Center. She said she hopes to resume calling the bingo games if the senior center re-opens at Stephens Memorial Hospital. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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