By Joey McWilliams
BOKCHITO – The Bokchito Senior Citizen Center was closed on Aug. 31. But the doors aren’t likely to stay shut for long.
A move is underway to reopen the center, no longer as a public facility, but under private management. And with a few changes.
The idea is that center will open as the Bokchito Community Center with new guidelines and the meals served there will be available to people of all ages.
To get things underway, a hamburger cookout and cake and pie auction has been set for Friday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the center as a fundraiser.
Ross Phillips, owner of Phillips Auto Salvage and Bokchito Wrecker Service, talked about the support for the event that has come from many areas.
“Our nutrition center was closed at the end of last month, due to lack of funds and participation, and the Masons have offered to help us to get it going again,” Phillips said. “We’re going to have a hamburger cookout and also have a cake and pie auction for donations to get our center back open.
“The Masons have offered a $3,000 matching challenge. We want to try to raise that. (The Masons) have been generous to help out with a lot of things and now they’re going to help out with this.”
The Bokchito Masonic Lodge No. 253 is hosting the event, along with First United Bank and U.S. Foods, which are furnishing and cooking the burgers and hot dogs.
T.C. Collins, one of the Masons involved and also a Bokchito city councilman, spoke about the need.
“Having this center open will help the senior citizens have a place to go and have a meal for lunch,” Collins said.
And one of the main points of emphasis in for the reorganization of the Center is the removal of the age restriction to be involved in things happening there.
“We want to especially meet the seniors’ needs,” Phillips said. “But we’d also like to a place where we all sit down and eat and visit and talk with each other and catch up on the news.”
Phillips encouraged people in the Bokchito area to come out and for everyone to bring something to bid on, like a cake or pie or whatever – and also to be ready to bid on those things.
He also said some have already started the donation process to try to reach that $3,000 mark set by the Masonic lodge for the matching funds, including the Faith Baptist Church of Bokchito, Mike’s Service Center and his business, as well.
Anyone wanting to make a donation before Oct. 20 can do so by visiting LaRhonda Loftis at the Bokchito Tag Office at 404 W. Main St. in Bokchito.