A new face for old friends
Mabank Senior Center opens at ball park
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Around 300 people met for a barbecue luncheon to
celebrate the opening of the new Senior Center at The Ball Park
in Mabank Thursday.
Mabank city workers spent the last month and a half renovating
the former YMCA building into a recreation center for area
seniors, the fourth center in Kaufman County. The seniors once
served by the Kemp Senior Center will now be served in this new
facility, under center director Lisa Stinnett-Smith.
The revamped building, which includes all new electrical and a
new roof, also houses the Mabank Area Good Samaritans (MAGS)
food bank, supported by 10 area churches.
Also on hand were the representatives from STAR Transit, with
services in four counties and Kaufman County Senior Services
director Phyllis Walker and her staff, who oversee about 250
volunteers a year in the Meals on Wheels program.
Mayor Larry Teague started the proceedings with a word of
welcome, graciously noting the loss of The Monitor editor Kerry
Yancey. “The entire community will miss him. His death is a
great loss to us all,” he said.
Kaufman County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Johnny Adams
spoke on behalf of his board of directors at the Kaufman County
Senior Citizens Services (KCSCS) and for executive director
Omega Hawkins with words of gratitude to the city of Mabank for
allowing them to be a part of “this outstanding park and
furnishing this beautiful building for the seniors in this area.
“This facility allows us to provide services in the fastest
growing area of southeast Kaufman County,” he said.
The KCSCS has been helping serve meals to the area’s hungry
seniors since 1979, he said. Last year it served 175,492 meals
and this year is expected to deliver 188,500 meals, he added.
“Again, a heartfelt thanks for this beautiful building and all
the hard work the city crews, Scott Confer with the Mabank
Economic Development Corporation, Ronnie Tuttle and many more,”
KCSCS managing director Phyllis Walker introduced her staff and
elaborated on the work she has been involved in for the past 26
years. “Assisting the seniors of Kaufman County has been just so
rewarding. I also have a great staff that I count on,” she told
STAR Transit president Roy Ferrell took the opportunity to tell
a little about the organization serving Kaufman, Rockwall, Ellis
and Navarro counties. “Our fleet consists of 40 vehicles, four
hybrids, and two small mini vans.” He said in 2010, STAR has
logged 117,000 rides over 1.1 million miles. “If you need a
ride, just call us,” he added.
Those under the age of 60 ride one way in the city for $2 and
others for $1. Rides within the county are $5/$3 each way and
inter county rides for Rockwall and Kaufman residents pay $6
each way. For more information, or to book a ride call (972)
563-5875 or in Rockwall (214) 771-0023.
The shaker and the mover behind the scenes points to Mabank city
utility supervisor Ronnie Tuttle.
Tuttle joined the STAR Transit board in January and heard about
MAGS looking for another location and had already been
approached about the facility difficulties the Kemp Senior
Center had been having.
“I just saw this as a great opportunity for the city of Mabank
to bring a lot of good folks from many generations together
whose areas of service seemed to overlap,” he said.
“Being 65 myself made it easier for me to see how it might
workout,” he added.
Tuttle thanked the city, council, mayor, area churches and
businesses and especially the city employees for making the
grand opening a reality.
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Kaufman County Senior Services staff members are (left to right)
manager Cynthia Mateu, Mabank center director Lisa
director Phyllis Walker, Jennifer Helms/Forney, Pam Studdeny/Kaufman