Smiling Seniors

Pictured are the members of the Smiling Seniors who met for one last meal together last Thursday. On the left, from back to front, is Bob Raines, Viola Tyler, Rita Biatt, Virginia Haddex, Sue Brown and Leona Mullins. On the right, from back to front, is Linda Dixon, Rose Smoot, Helen Hammonds, Greta Bradshaw, Mattie Despain, Chris Sellig, Troy Haddex, Tony Brown and Jewell Lamaster.

A group that’s been meeting for over 35 years will sadly meet no more.

The North Vernon Smiling Seniors is an organization made up of 55-year-olds and older who organize fundraisers for local nonprofits. According to member Virginia Haddex, at one time there were more than 200 Smiling Seniors. Virginia’s mother, Iona Pitts, was also a member and that’s how she herself became involved in the group.

“It’s a way for seniors to socialize and build each other up,” said Virginia. “We support each other in different ways.”

The group is lead by President Jewell Lamaster, Secretary Leona Mullins, Treasurer Sue Brown and Vice-President Linda Dixon, and they would all meet the last Monday of every month at Senior Housing.

However, as its name would suggest, the seniors in the Smiling Seniors are just getting a little too old to run the organization anymore. With many dealing with bad health and the current pandemic, the group decided it was time to disband.

15 members gathered together at the Little Red Kitchen on October 14 for one last hurrah. They all smiled and enjoyed catching up, giving the sense that, though the Smiling Seniors will no longer be getting together, the friendships created during their time with the group will continue.