This article first appeared on April 15, 2013 in The Villages Daily Sun
SPRUCE CREEK GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
Written by: Mary Chartier
“I understand that the games were a huge success again this year,” General Manager Sean Casey said during his opening remarks at the closing ceremonies of the 2013 Spruce Creek Senior Games for Charity.
“It is amazing the athletic ability of this community and all of the intelligence in the spelling bees, and all of the games, it is just amazing,” Sean continued.
This was the overwhelming sentiment as all those intimately involved in this year’s games – organizers, participants, and spectators.
President Bob Carter announced that there were 964 participants, 66 different games, and 56 different categories for this year’s games.
Bob went on to tell everyone about two residents who participated in what he thought was an amazingly large number of games.
“These two individuals are probably going to take a few weeks off because Jim Brush participated in 19 events, and Judy Turco 17,” Bob said with admiration.
Closing ceremonies coordinator Karen Kelley spent her time at the podium recognizing all the wonderful volunteers, participants, and spectators who played an important role in the success of the games, asking them to stand and be recognized.
“Most of the participants were just happy to be a part of the fun activity, they got to meet new friends, maybe win a medal, laugh a lot, maybe try a new game – but you were all willing to participate, and we thank you for that,” Karen said.
Karen introduced co-coordinators, resident Richard Decker and membership services director Kim Osburn to thunderous cheers and applause from the audience.
After presenting both with tokens of appreciation, Karen went on to say a few words and read a poem about Richard’s dedication to volunteerism.
“So, thank you for being a volunteer, we are privileged to work with you,” Karen continued.
“We want you to know how appreciated you are, not just today, but the whole year through,” she said.
Karen then invited Kim and Richard to say a few words.
Kim started her remarks thanking everyone who played a role in the games and at the same time playing tribute to the community as a whole.
“You made this 40 year-old something looking forward to getting a year older. It doesn’t bother me. It’s just a number,” Kim said.
“That number means nothing because when I see the activities and incredible smiles and the friendship that goes on here, I think, what’s a number, truly, what is in a number?” she continued.
When it was time for Richard to come to the microphone he called all the game captains, to the front of the room, to be recognized.
“These captains are the glue; I show up, they do the job,” he said.
Richard also took the opportunity to share with everyone some words that have been attributed to his co-coordinator Kim.
“Outstanding person, contributor, good overseer, good photographer, time giver, planner, great leader, tireless with long hours, positive influence, she is great to all of you, she knows all your names,” Richard said.
After an afternoon of watching a wonderful slide presentation of the games, a tasty pizza lunch, many heartfelt thank-you speeches a fun trivia game, it was time to present checks to the two charities chosen to be the beneficiaries of this year’s games.
Diane Schofield was on hand to accept a check for $5,000 for Hands of Mercy Everywhere of Belleview, a Christian home that addresses the needs of teenage mothers and their children.
“I couldn’t do without ya’lls help,” Diane said to the audience.
“All you contributions are very helpful. Thank you so much!” Diane continued.
Habitat for Humanity’s CFO Dave Layman received a check for $2,500 on behalf of the group’s Project Patriot which focuses on the housing needs of Marion County veterans.
“We sure do appreciate this,” Dave said.
“This will go a long way to helping those who defended and protected our country, and we’re so proud of that. So, thank you very much,” Dave continued.
At the end of ceremonies, my husband Randy, who kindly covered the event while I was traveling, caught up with Diane and Dave and asked if they would say a few additional words.
“The girls we help range in age from 13-18 years old. We are always in need of paper goods, diapers, bottles; it never ends,” Diane said.
“I think it is absolutely awesome. It is amazing what kind of fun retirees are having down here and the good things they do with that fun,” Dave replied.
Club activities and events are for Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club residents.
Mary Chartier is a resident of Spruce Creek Golf and Country Club.
Picture taken by: Randy Chartier