Centennial Rotary programs a 'great way to make friends'

Rotary program brings seniors together for 'game days,' other events

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When Mary Alice Jackson saw that the Centennial area lacked opportunities for seniors to socialize, she decided to do something about it.

Today, her group — the Prime Timers, who meet several times each month for luncheons, board games, pickleball and more activities — has been running for more than three years.

“When I started it, two friends had talked to me — both single, one widowed, one divorced — and they said they just want people to go do things with,” Jackson, 79, said.

Prime Timers is part of the Rotary Club of Centennial, a local community service organization. But its reach goes further than the Rotary. The first Prime Timers meeting saw a crowd mostly made up of people who aren't Centennial Rotary members, and it now has 175 people on its mailing list. Prime Timers started in September 2016, Jackson said.

The group generally meets on Mondays — many are “game days,” where a small crowd of seniors gathers to play tabletop games. A happy hour, book club and even a movie night at Koelbel Library are among the other outings the group offers.

Koelbel was recently a new site for the Prime Timers' game day, when the group participated in the library's Classic Game Club event, which offers titles such as Yahtzee, Sorry, Scrabble and others.

“It's our way of getting the community together,” said Manon Merewether, an older-adult services librarian for Arapahoe Libraries. The program started at Smoky Hill Library last year.

Library staff had noticed comments from patrons who are lonely or want to socialize, said Marie Ingram, another older-adult services librarian in the district. Often, those who attend the library's game club have recently gone through change in their lives and are excited to meet people, Merewether said.

“People meet in the group and then start meeting for different game days, so it's a real fun, tight-knit group,” Merewether said.

Rosemary Cox, a Centennial resident who has attended Prime Timers events for a few years, had a smile on her face during a Jan. 6 game at Koelbel.

“Playing games makes your mind work a bit better — your brain power,” Cox laughed. “We have a lot of fun.”

For more information on Prime Timers, contact Jackson at 303-400-3641.

For more about Classic Game Club at Koelbel and Smoky Hill libraries, call 303-542-7279.

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