Feeding the soul

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The new Troy Nutrition Center opens its doors, welcomes seniors

A dream that began four years ago was realized Thursday morning with the Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon Cutting for the Troy Nutrition Center.

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Center Director Hassie Green choked back tears as she expressed appreciation for the state-of-the-art facility for the most wonderful people, “our seniors.”

“Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!” Green said. “This is a dream come true.”

Green said that, in all the time of waiting, she never doubted that a new facility for the city’s seniors would become a reality.

“There were some stumbling blocks along the way,” she said. “But I believed that those rough edges would be smoothed out and, in the end, the results would be what we have today.”

Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said the Troy Nutrition Center is the result of the hard work of many who are dedicated to the enrichment of the lives of the community’s senior adults.

“It is important to have a place where our seniors can go for fellowship.” Reeves said. “The Troy Nutrition Center not only feeds the body, it feeds the soul.”

Reeves thanked everyone who had a part in making the dream a reality.

City Councilman Charlie Dunn said the faith of those involved had removed all obstacles in bringing the project to conclusion.

“This is a wonderful day,” he said. “It is the day the Lord has made and we rejoice in it.”

Retired Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford expressed belief that God has a hand in all things.

When the city was attempting to purchase the former Baptist Children’s Home for use as a senior center, grant funds were not awarded.

“The city council stepped up and did it anyway,” Lunsford said. “We needed that grant later – for a better project, for the one we have today. This is one of the happiest days I can remember.”

Neal Morrison, Alabama Department of Senior Services commissioner, told the gathering that Gov. Robert Bentley cares about the quality of life of all Alabama’s senior adults.

“We owe so much to those who came before us,” Morrison said in expressing appreciation to the seniors in attendance for their examples and their contributions. “[The Troy Nutrition Center] is living proof that people who work together make great things happen for great people.”

Green said that there was no way she could thank all of those who were involved in the Troy Nutrition Center project.

“From the planning through the construction, so many people were dedicated to the project,” she said. “I could never name them all but they know who they are and how much they are appreciated. It’s on the faces of our seniors, every one of them.”

Green did recognize her staff, Jessica Cox, Nikki Jones, Kiara Pierson and Eva Jackson, who are instrumental to the program. She also recognized Rosa Boswell, Elizabeth Law and Charlie Terry, who are the senior members of the Troy Nutrition Center.

“This new building is a blessing to all of us,” Boswell said. “We’re like family out here and we love each other.”

Law said that the nutrition center is home away from home “and what a pretty new home we have.”

At age 93, Charlie Terry is the senior among the seniors and he said he couldn’t believe how “richly blessed we are today.”

“The Center gives me somewhere to go every day and something to do,” he said. “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have this place.”

Terry said the new center is just about the prettiest place he has ever seen.

“It’s so nice that I’ll have to wear my Sunday britches every day,” he said, laughing. “I don’t know how to thank everybody but I do say ‘thank you.’ And I thank the Good Lord for his hand in it.”