HAMLET — Stormy weather couldn’t dampen the spirits of Richmond County’s seniors Monday afternoon — even when opening ceremonies for the 24th Annual Senior Games were moved at the last minute from the lakeside of Richmond Community College to the American Legion Post 49 building.
Terry Mercer, event manager, described the mad scramble to reorganize after two location change announcements.
“We told our organizer there we’d better check this weather out,” Mercer said. “First we were going to move indoors at RCC. Then we decided the American Legion would be our best bet.”
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch as showers and thunderstorms began to roll in from the west at 3 p.m. Fork lightning and thunder hailed the arrival of the threatening weather system that is expected to linger through Wednesday.
Seaboard Station Catering was quick to adapt to the sudden change, getting hot dogs with all the fixings set up for the nearly 100 seniors already gathered in the building.
Pete Wheeler, coordinator of the Senior Games of Richmond County, expected the crowd to grow larger as the evening progressed. Her only regret?
“We were going to have someone bring in the torch,” she said. “But now that we’re indoors, we won’t be able to bring that in. There have had to be changes, but we’ve got it done.”
Glenda Outen walked in through the door smiling as the rain temporarily let up outside.
“It’s my first time coming,” she said. “I came right by myself. I’m an early retiree and moved here from Mint Hill in 2008. My favorite thing about the Senior Center is the companionship. Meeting new people and going on trips together, playing cards together. It’s a great way to meet others in the community and there’s always something to do.”
Nearly 200 people are set to participate in the 2014 Senior Games which will continue through May 12.
For information, contact Pete Wheeler at 910-206-2224.