A hula hooping king and queen were recently crowned in Tompkinsville, receiving plaques stating 2019 Hula Hoop Contest, 1st place male and female. The queen, Edna Jordan, accepted her award and laughed, “I can’t believe this. This is the funniest thing I have ever won an award for.” She and husband, John Jordan, king, were both overjoyed at their win.
The contest was held at the Senior Center on Cap Harlan Rd., where guests were dressed in bright greens and four-leaf clovers in honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday.
That day’s event was an idea of Charolette Arnett, Monroe County Extension office, who regularly partners with the Center, sharing ideas and recipes toward healthy living. She was not present at the event but another Monroe County Extension Agent, Jamille Hawkins, was and explained that Arnett had come up with the idea on a visit after noticing a senior using a hula hoop. The group has been practicing for the past month.
The hula hoops were provided by volunteer Patricia Richardson, who is known for her handmade hula hoops and the contests she has held over the years for all ages. Patti was gracious enough to show off her own talent of the rattling hoops for everyone attending.
Hawkins also did a few turns of the hoop surprising herself at how well she did after stating she was not the best at the hobby.
Hawkins was at the event to share a few recipes from the University of Kentucky Extension office calendar, which she noted that anyone could come by and pick up a free copy of at the Monroe County Extension office. The meal for the day consisted of the March selection cabbage roll stew and a dessert of a chocolate/strawberry smoothie.
As she fired up her blender, seniors and their guests gathered around, curious at her list of ingredients. The smoothie consisted of dark chocolate almond milk, honey, strawberries and frozen spinach. Not something one would think to be very appetizing. Yet a few stepped forward to volunteer for a taste test and were pleasantly surprised at the flavor, with one comparing it to a chocolate covered strawberry milkshake.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Brandy Combs and her husband Jimmy, were busy preparing the main course. She yelled out to the crowd, “Are y’all ready to get this party started!” A few of the ladies stepped in to help, opening canned goods, chopping onions and adding hamburger meat to the Insta Pot pressure cooker.
The ladies worked around each other as any family in a kitchen, sharing jokes and laughter. It was obvious that the group was very close, as Queen Edna said, “I am chief dishwasher and I love this place. John and I heard about it and didn’t think we had time, but I am so glad we checked it out. I love it.” Barbara Gail Froedge agreed, “I love coming here to socialize,” as she checked the ingredients in the pot.
The kitchen is run on very strict rules, taking food safety into consideration. Meals are served Monday through Friday, at 11 a.m. An activity of some sort is usually held before the meal such as bingo, contests like the hula hoop one or exercises geared toward those with arthritis. An age of 60 is required to come every day but occasional guests can be younger. It is also requested that a one week notice be given for those planning to attend. Volunteers are welcome but will need to pass background checks and other safety measures.
“A lot of people don’t know about us or they think we are only for the needy. They think it is a handout and do not want to take advantage,” Combs explained, continuing, “but we are for everyone. If you want to come out and chat, have some coffee, congregate or be entertained come on out. If you want to eat give us a $5 donation. We would be glad to have you.”
The center offers transportation if needed, which is available countywide. If you would like more information on the center, you can call 270-487-5602. If you would like to see the hula hoop contest recording, go to the Tompkinsville News/Monroe County Facebook page and look for the live video.