Senior Games

Theresa Cummins throws a frisbee during the 2017 annual Four-County-Senior Games held at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. This year’s event will be held on Friday.

Everyone needs a chance to play and enjoy the summer-like weather.

That includes a number of residents of Cameron, Elk, McKean and Potter counties who will make their way to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Friday for the annual Four-County Senior Games.

In fact, 171 seniors have registered to attend the games, said Nila Gerner of Potter County Human Services, which brings the total of attendees signed up to 246, including staff, volunteers, event committee members and ATA drivers.

Robert Torres, secretary for the state Department of Aging, is also set to make an appearance, along with his executive assistant, Stephanie Cole.

The local Senior Games have been held since the 1970s.

On Friday, participating seniors will compete in games that might include a one-mile walk, basketball throw, darts, Wii bowling, softball throws and horseshoes.

The competitions are friendly, and attendees always seem happier to spend time with friends than show off their athletic prowess.

“The main thing people understand is, it’s a place to have fun,” said Bill Orzechowski, executive director of the Office of Human Services.

For his part, Orzechowski said he’ll likely be running the Frisbee throw on Friday.

“I’m looking forward to it. I hope that the weather’s good,” Orzechowski said.

Even if there’s rain, there’s plenty of activities participants can do indoors at the university. Orzechowski explained some games can be modified to be brought indoors, and participants can play cards and bingo.

Senior Games participants are to arrive to check in between 9 and 9:30 a.m., with the day starting out with donuts and cookies brought by event organizers, along with beverages from the university.

The games themselves typically last until around 11:30 a.m. or noon, followed by lunch. After lunch, they will offer bingo — one of the more popular activities among attendees — for people who want to stay for the afternoon.

According to Orzechowski, the event committee raises money for use of the university and to buy lunch.

He said visitors enjoy the food, and as long as there is coffee, cookies and a chance to socialize, they’ll have a good time.

“The idea is to go see some of your friends, get outside, have some fun activities and basically have a good time all the way around,” Orzechowski said. “People seem to enjoy it.”

While registration is closed for 2019, Orzechowski invited interested seniors in Cameron, Elk, McKean and Potter counties plan on attending the 2020 games.

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