by Lisa Tome
Erma Bolton recently received a rebate from her auto insurance carrier for being a safe driver.
Bolton, 96, proudly drives herself from her home in Fair Hill to Charlestown each week to meet with fellow senior citizens.
It keeps her young.
Or at the very least, Young at Heart.
Young at Heart, a group of senior citizens, most from Charlestown, meets weekly at Johns United Methodist Church. The group, which was founded three years ago, is growing, according to Rosie Bott, who oversees the activities and keeps things organized.
Last week, group members in attendance ranged in age from 62-96.
Typical Tuesdays are attended by at least 20 members. Card playing is one of the activities.
"We just did a boat ride, to Penns Landing. It was a luncheon cruise and we went with the Elkton Senior Center," said Bott.
"We're starting to do more trips," said Bott. They also have a monthly luncheon to celebrate birthdays of anyone who is age 90 or above.
"We laugh and giggle a lot," said member Pauline Bryant.
"I live by myself and I enjoy this," said Bolton.
Judy Frost lives in Pittsburgh most of the year. In the summer, she lives in Red Point and is part of Young at Heart. "They are the best group. They are so friendly and we didn't really know anyone here. We've been able to make friends. It's been wonderful. Everybody is so welcoming," said Frost.
Ruby Gordon is a widow. She enjoys playing cards with her fellow seniors. "My husband died a couple years ago. This gave me something else to think about. You can't have a bad time playing cards," said Gordon.
The seniors pay to attend, $1 a week if they bring a snack to share, twice that amount if they opt not to bring food. The donations go to pay for lunches, the annual senior prom admission for all who wish to go, and more. Young at Heart also receives a $500 annual donation from the town. That helps pay the rent to the church for the meeting site.
They aren't just having fun. The group gives back to the community providing Christmas stockings for deployed military, school supplies for needy children, and teacher supplies at mid year.