Members of Senior Citizens of Marion County Inc. have a right to celebrate heartily Thurs?day as they mark the 50th anniversary of their organization and the development of local senior centers as a strategy for meeting the needs of older friends and neighbors within a community.

The celebration highlights more than local accomplishments. Fifty years ago, Marion County blazed a trail in senior care that most of the nation has followed in similar form. To think of Marion County as a pacesetter in national social change is mind-boggling. But it was true 50 years ago and we who following in their footsteps can take pride in the creativity and determination of our forebears, who developed a model of caregiving that truly has stood the test of time.

No one can say with certainty what the future holds. But we can say one thing with confidence: Seniors will always need ways not only to meet their own physical and emotional needs, but to serve their community and peers. The senior-center movement has made retirement years more meaningful and productive through self-initiated cooperation and organization. It?s a tremendous accomplishment. ?DR

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