Union County Senior Center in Blairsville, Georgia
Becky Conkle, Barbara Burnette, Kathy Hill, Diane Plotkin (seated)

November 20, 2010 - Shop Senior Center Craft Bazaar thru the holidays

The Union County Senior Center Annual Craft Bazaar was held on Saturday, November 20, 2010. It was a great success with vendors selling everything from useful kitchen items and beaded jewelry to handcrafted sock monkeys. There was something for every age, taste, and budget in Blairsville, Georgia!

The Union County Senior Center participants are diligently working to make craft items to benefit the programs at the Center such as the home-delivered meal program. The seniors’ handmade crafts include quilts, table runners, napkins, scarves, birdhouses, note cards, and more. They are offered at reasonable prices and make great Christmas gifts.

The seniors’ handicrafts were featured during the bazaar along with eleven other vendors whose wares included jewelry, gift baskets, miniature carvings, hand-knitted scarves, gloves, and hats. 

The Senior Center Craft Sale will continue through the Christmas holidays.  Please come down, do some shopping, and support the home-delivered meal program as well as the local Blairsville center. 

The Union County Senior Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  They will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holidays, but will re-open on Monday, November 29 th.  The Senior Center would like to thank everyone for their support.


Painting group from left to right - Annie Vitale, Zadie Canady, Dorthy Hughes, Lucy Albertini, Ellen Gerber (standing), and Carmen Keith
Painting group from left to right - Annie Vitale, Zadie Canady,
Dorthy Hughes, Lucy Albertini, Ellen Gerber (standing), and Carmen Keith.

November 6, 2008 - Painting classes at Union County Senior Center in Blairsville, Georgia

Morning art classes at the Union County Senior Center are fun, productive, and challenging. Volunteer Art Instructor Ellen Gerber says, "Painting is very therapeutic especially for senior citizens. My students at the Senior Center enjoy the companionship and the feeling of accomplishment."

Artists in the painting classes produce original acrylic paintings which are made into quality prints and note cards. These items are sold to the public along with other handmade craft items such as pot holders, aprons, bonnets, baby blankets, quilts, crocheted slippers, and dish towels. (A Christmas Bazaar is in the planning stages so keep a lookout for dates and times.)

Instructor Ellen Gerber teaches one or two classes a week at the Senior Center. She explains, "Classes are set up so people with low vision can participate. Some of the painters are legally blind although they can see shadows. When provided with a canvas containing bold outlines, they can fill in colors and textures. It's really exciting to see a painting start to take shape."

Ellen is a well known artist and an active member of the High Country Artisans.

The Union County Senior Center offers various activities and classes including painting, quilting, line dancing, Tai Chi, Yoga, and low impact aerobics. There is a fully equipped sewing room and a game room with pool table, checkers, and puzzles. Among other services, the Union County Senior Center also provides regular outings and hot lunches.

Volunteer opportunities are available at the Union County Senior Center and in the Meals on Wheels program. The Senior Center is located at 474 Meeks Avenue next to North Georgia Technical School in Blairsville, Georgia.


Volunteers are honored at dinner

February 7, 2007 - Meals on Wheels volunteers honored

The Union County Senior Center recently hosted a Valentine's and Appreciation Dinner for the Meals on Wheels volunteers in Blairsville, Georgia. Director Kathy Hill said, "There's a dinner in Gainesville every year, but we wanted to do something on a local level to show our appreciation. The program couldn't function without these volunteers."

The evening was full of surprises. Ralph Holdsworth was named "Volunteer of the Year" and received a plaque that read, "In appreciation of your time and dedication - Union County Senior Center - 2007."

Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris presented Senior Center Director Kathy Hill and Center Coordinator Oriska McKim with a new license plate for the van. Bob Ingram of Live Wire Rhythms, and Senior Center Transportation Supervisor Bill Graff, entertained everyone with karaoke. Door prizes were plentiful and nobody went home empty-handed. The food was delicious and Oriska's homemade red-velvet cake matched the Valentine's Day theme perfectly.

The Union County Meals on Wheels program serves many purposes. Besides food and friendship, the program provides a "home check." If the heat is off or something is wrong, drivers are instructed to report back to the center or call 911. Privacy is respected, but in emergency situations, the "Meals on Wheels" volunteers can help save lives.

Volunteers range in age from young mothers to senior citizens. They deliver meals to people along a regular route. Some have been helping in Blairsville, Georgia for many years. The volunteers do more than just bring a hot meal. Kitchen assistant Barbara Cook says, "Some of the volunteers dress-up like Santa or the Easter bunny on holidays. They sing "happy birthday" and give lots of love without asking for anything in return. Sometimes the clients appreciate the human contact more than the food."

Volunteers drive their own vehicles and buy their own gas. They deliver meals to over 60 people a day.


Union County Senior Center

Union County Senior Center in Blairsville, Georgia

The Union County Senior Center is a busy place. Located at 424 Meeks Avenue in Blairsville, Georgia, the Center is a popular place for senior citizens to socialize and meet new friends. The Center invites the public to visit any time. Volunteers are always needed and anyone 60 or over can join.

The Senior Center is alive with all kinds of activities, from quilting bees to field trips. There is a pool table, TV with DVD and VCR player, an on-going jigsaw puzzle table, checkers games, and ceramics room. There are exercise classes and the Meeks Park walking trail is right outside. There is a piano which Mr. Ray plays everyday. A large variety of books is available to check out. Just want to sit and talk? Then have a cup of coffee. The pot is always hot.

A beautiful flower garden is visible from the picture window. There is a new gazebo with a fountain. A small sign reads, "In memory of Lenwell J. Birins, Sr." Recently five brand new park benches have appeared during the night. This mystery is the subject of much speculation. Who donated the benches? "We may never know for sure." says Murrell, "But donations are sincerely appreciated."

The Union County Senior Center takes two or more trips a year to exciting destinations such as Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. There are also local outings such as fishing trips. The van takes members grocery shopping once a week to stores in Blairsville and surrounding areas.

The Union County Senior Center moved to it's present location in 1998. Ms. Ruth Murrell has seen lots of changes since she became Director in 1976.

There are currently over 60 members on the active membership list. The Union County Senior Center also participates in the Meals on Wheels program, serving over 80 seniors in their homes by providing hot and frozen meals. Murrell says that the visits provide more than food. "The companionship is more important than a meal. The men and women look forward to having someone to talk to even if it's just for a few minutes."

The Union County Senior Center works with the 9th District to help distribute commodity foods. They also help with heating bills and transportation. There is a Quick Help Program that notifies emergency workers about health problems and medicine. A sticker goes on the door of the person's residence. It says, "This household participates in Operation Quick Help." Forms are available at the Center.

The Union County Senior Center operates on Federal, State and local funding. Money is also raised by selling quilts, pot holders, dish towels, crafts, and ceramics. There are many beautiful hand-make items on display at bargain prices. The newest item is a University of Georgia ceramic bulldog. Ms. Sarah is currently working on a tulip pattern quilt. She says, "If you have a quilt top just laying around, we will quilt it for you. Our prices are right!" The Center also sells items at the Sorghum Festival.

The Union County Senior Center is available to rent for reunions and other special events. There is a large dining room and extremely clean kitchen. (The Center received a 100 on it's last health inspection.) All sales and rental money goes to support the Meals on Wheels program.

Ruth Murrell at Union County Senior Center
Ruth Murrell at Union County Senior Center