Yearbook tells story of Nutrition Center

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2011

James Smith, Jessie Bryant and Yvonne Lowery flip through the “Seniors With Awesome Knowledge” yearbook that was presented to the senior adults at the Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center on Tuesday. For many of the seniors, this was the first time that they have been pictured in a yearbook.

The senior adults at the Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center in Troy have awesome knowledge — knowledge that has been gained through many blessed years and times of trials and tribulations. And, from those years, the senior adults have gained wisdom that they gladly share with all who are willing to listen.

Hassie Green, Center manager, said many of the participants at the nutrition center didn’t have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma but that didn’t prevent them from acquiring vast amounts of knowledge through life experiences.

“Here at the Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center we have ‘Seniors with Awesome Knowledge,’” Green said. “So, we wanted to do something special for them and something that would mean a lot to them and their families. Since many of them didn’t graduate high school and, since most of those who did didn’t have the fun of getting a senior yearbook, we thought it would be fun to put together a Lillian D. Green Nutrition Center Senior Yearbook.”

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The center staff and volunteers went about the business of collecting material for the senior yearbook. They gathered photographs from all of the Center’s events and invited the seniors to bring childhood photographs to add to the collection.

“For the cover of the yearbook, we designed a logo for the Center and incorporated our logo, ‘Seniors with Awesome Knowledge’ into the design” Green said. “The cover includes a tree, which represents the Tree of Knowledge because our goal at the nutrition center is to provide each senior with social, educational, recreational and cultural services that will help improve their quality of life.

“The fruit on the tree represents nutrition because we provide hot, nutritious meals five days a week. The birdhouse represents the Center where we foster a warm environment where our seniors can explore activities and services that meet their needs. The birds represent our seniors because it is for them that we offer this wonderful place. And the butterfly represents our friends that had passed.”

The senior yearbook was put in the hands of the nutrition center hot off the press and the seniors were busy Tuesday flipping through the pages in search of their photographs and those of friends. The photographs jogged memories and hardly a senior didn’t utter the words, “remember when …”

James Smith was one of the few seniors who had a high school yearbook.

“I was named the most witty in high school but what I like the most about this is the ‘Looking Back’ section,” he said, laughing. “I’m trying to pick our who’s who but I can’t. Everybody’s changed a little.”

Anna Smith liked the idea of a yearbook but she doesn’t like cameras so she hides from them.

“I like all the pictures and I’m in a few,” she said. “But, now, I wish I’d been in more.”

Jessie Bryant and Dean Morgan thought that they looked much the same as when they were young but had a hard time “figuring out who these other people are.”

Leo Bard found the yearbook “beautiful” as he did himself.

“I was sitting here with my legs crossed reading the scriptures,” he said pointing to a picture and laughing. “I looked beautiful, too.”

The seniors were all pleased to see themselves pictured in the yearbook and Valentine King Samuel Adams spoke for all of them in thanking Green and her staff for “treating everybody so good and doing things like this for us.”

“At the Center, everybody is treated the same,” Adams said. “We all feel welcome and this is a place where friendships are made and kept. This is a second home to us and we are so thankful that we can come here and be together.”