MOSES LAKE — Early June meant it was time for seniors from across the Basin to gather at the Grant County Fairgrounds on Wednesday for the annual Senior Picnic.
“I’m having a great time!” said Viola Wallenger. “We come every year. You can have a lot of fun and enjoy everybody.”
“We sat right here last year,” said Darryl Wallace. “We’re having a real good time and this seems to be a good place.”
The picnic, which was held in the Grant County Fairgrounds’ Commercial Building on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., had a Mardi Gras theme and featured lunch for as many as 600 people prepared and served by students from the Columbia Basin Job Corps, live music from the Seattle-based Funaddicts, door prizes and booths from businesses and organizations across the county.
“We’re one of the sponsors of the event,” said Shannon Sims, director of sales and retention for Health Alliance Northwest, which offers a Medicare Advantage plan for seniors in Washington.
According to Sims, Medicare Advantage plans to offer more preventive services than ordinary Medicare, as well as additional benefits “to keep seniors healthy.”
“We want to bring fun to the seniors who live here,” she said. “It’s all about fun.”
Indeed, now in its fifth year since the Columbia Basin Senior Networking Forum, in conjunction with the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, took over the event from the Moses Lake Senior Center, the picnic serves as an opportunity for seniors to have a little bit of fun and learn about area services at the same time.
And dance a bit. And spend some time out with friends.
“I told my neighbor, we’re going to the senior picnic, and she asked, what are you taking? And I said, you don’t have to take anything. It’s all prepared for you,” Wallace said.
“We look forward to this every year,” he added. “It’s real nice.”
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at email@example.com.