SENIOR YEARS: ?Retirement? keeps local seniors active still

After retirement, many senior citizens trade the time demands of a job

for involvement in community activities and service.

The Hillsboro Senior Center provides opportunities to participate


?I think those who eat here and are involved in activities are

healthier and have a more positive outlook on life,? said Connee

Willis, center director.

Seniors can take part in craft lessons, games, special day

decorating, showcasing hobbies, quilting, aerobics and more at the

senior center. The center has more than 100 volunteers, spanning a

wide age range.

?We really try to get the younger retirees volunteering so we have

constant supply of volunteers,? Willis said.

The number of volunteers has remained fairly stable over the

Area seniors can volunteer to drive meals to home-bound residents,

quilt, prepare mailings, provide in-town transportation, help in

kitchen, drive passenger vans, serve on committees, contribute to

programs and serve on the executive board.

Willis said she feels it is the religious faith of the seniors

gives them the desire to help others.

Helping others also lets them know they are still useful and

?I think a lot of them volunteer at their churches and just in

neighborhoods,? Willis said. ?They probably were people that all

lives were concerned about others.?

The volunteers at the senior center make it possible for the
center to

carry out all of the activities and services it offers.

Willis said anyone can volunteer and jobs are available for

who does.

?I think it helps them stay active and appreciate life more,? she

said. ?It helps them to maintain a positive outlook about life.?

Wilbur Hanneman, Hillsboro, has been volunteering at the center
for a

number of years. He is typical of many seniors who invest their


?I enjoy it and it gives me something to do?and I?m doing it for

people,? he said.

Hanneman is a meal driver and does building repairs?among other

things?at the center. He also mows the lawn at his church and does

maintenance work at the Et Cetera Shop.

?I can?t sit in the chair in the afternoon and watch TV,? he said.

Other outlets for seniors are service organizations, such as the


Art Unrau, secretary for the evening club, said the majority of

membership is senior citizens.

?We help in various ways,? he said.

Members can work in the concessions stand at baseball games, with

senior center, and drive for FISH and meals on wheels.

?I don?t think you can find an organization that has more

Unrau said. ?It?s good fellowship.?

He said during his time with Lions, he

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