Senior tailgate party packed with fun and information on healthy living

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Jackson Medical Mall isn’t just a place for health care and shopping. Friday was the return of the Tailgate Party for Seniors, a chance for them to have fun while learning about healthy living.

The Senior Tailgating Party drew more than 350 seniors from across the state, representing their favorite schools.

The Jackson Medical Mall Foundation hosts quarterly events just for them. Several area senior centers came to the party.

“Really because my wife pulled me,” said retired Simmons High School football coach Charles Evans. Despite being persuaded to attend, the Hollandale resident believes remaining active is important.

“I want to better myself,” said Evans. “Do a lot of walking, riding a bicycle when I get the chance.”

Humana and Oak Street Health provided health care information. This event’s focus is self-care and breast cancer awareness. Juanita Thames is a 68-year-old retired dietitian who exercises daily. She came to the party with the West Side Senior Center.

“Our health is important today and as we go through our facility at the table they give us to communicate where to go if you’ve got cancer, heart problems, body problems whatever the situation,” said Thames.

But it wasn’t all business when the music started dancing took center stage with an emphasis on movement.

“We always want our seniors to have a great time. We don’t want to just give them loads of information,” said Jackson Medical Mall Foundation Chief Planning Strategy Officer Fallon Brewster. “We want to get them up, get them active, and make sure that they have a great time. So everybody represented their favorite team whether on the high school, college or professional level.”

Eighty-one-year-old James E. Todd was representing Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus while tailgating. He has been distributing water and says staying active and doing for others keeps you healthy.

“I try to go and do every chance I get,” said Todd. “Yesterday I was out helping give out water at Morrison Elementary School, and it makes me feel good when I’m helping someone else.”

The Senior Tailgate Party returned for the fourth year after the COVID break. A Sip and Shop event is scheduled for the seniors in December.

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