Stephanie Dunne and Jean Knobel

Daleville Senior Citizens Center members, from left, Stephanie Dunne, 73, and Jean Knobel, 68, exercise on the new stationary bike and treadmill at the senior citizens center June 21. 

The Daleville Senior Citizens Center was recently the recipient of a $600 grant through the Southern Alabama Regional Council on Aging (SARCOA) to improve the quality of life and enhance the independence of seniors in the area.  

"It's a blessing to have it," Daleville Senior Citizens Center director Laura Leger said.  

SARCOA, an area agency on aging, is one of 13 agencies in Alabama that works to provide services and funding to help the local seniors. 

The Southern Alabama Regional Council on Aging serves the senior citizens in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties.

The grant provided by SARCOA went toward new exercise equipment for the Daleville Senior Citizens Center.

"They let all the senior citizens centers apply for whatever they wanted, and we wanted to purchase new exercise equipment," Leger said. "We just want to keep the seniors active for as long as possible to extend their lives."

Through Academy Sports and Outdoors, Leger purchased a stationary bike and a treadmill, which were set up and placed at the center June 13. 

So far, Leger said, the seniors have been responding really well to the equipment. 

"We are promoting that the seniors need to take better care of their health," she said. "We're trying to stress for them to exercise a little bit even if it's just 15-20 minutes a day. I've had some who told me they would never get on a treadmill and they're actually trying it and giving it a chance, which is really good."

Two seniors who have already gotten into a routine and are now exercise partners are 73-year-old Stephanie Dunne and Jean Knobel, 68.

The two have been working out together every morning since the equipment arrived.

Dunne, who hadn't used exercise equipment in years, said she was sore at first and had to get her muscles back used to it, but that she still wants to try doing it every day.

"When I come in every day, I use it for about a half hour, 20 minutes," she said. "It's strengthens your muscles, your legs, your back and your arms."

Knobel said she's glad to have the opportunity to use the equipment.

"It's really good for our health and strength," she said.

Leger said she encourages everyone, including non-members who are at least 55 years old to come and use the equipment. 

"If they want to come in and give the equipment a try, then they are welcome to," she said. 

However, to become a member of the Daleville Senior Citizens Center, seniors must be at least 60 years old.

To apply for a membership, residents must go to the center and fill out a form. There is no fee to participate.

The Daleville Senior Citizens center is run completely on donations. To donate to the Daleville Senior Citizens Center, contact Leger at 598-9197.

Dunne said she's really excited about using the new equipment, and that she's really proud of the leadership at the center.

"We have a good leader," Dunne said. "She helps out when we need it."

Leger said she plans to add more exercise equipment in the future.

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