By Natalie Covher
The Natchitoches Parish Council on Aging (NPCOA) held its grand opening for their new building Wednesday, July 27. The ceremony began in the old building and finished in the new building showcasing all that NPCOA has to offer. Linda Turner extended a warm welcome to all that attended and thanked everyone involved in getting the new building. Master of Ceremonies was Michael Lewis and Herbert Baptiste led the group in prayer.
“This is one of those moments you wait for in life,” said NPCOA Director Alice Barrios. “We’ve been waiting for this day to come for eight years. You’re at the one stop shop for senior services in Natchitoches Parish. If you need to go to the Office of Community Services, come here. If you need to go to the Council on Aging, come here. If you need to go to Veteran Affairs, come here. We are working to promote the well-being and enhance the quality of life for senior citizens of the Parish by providing activities and services that encourage independence, promote physical and mental health and continued participation in the community. We don’t want our seniors to endure, we want them to enjoy.”
Idell Snowden presented a history of NPCOA. “The NPCOA was established in 1969 and designated by the Governor and State Legislature to serve as a State Agency on Aging,” said Snowden. “It serves as the primary Parish agency charged with planning, coordinating and developing comprehensive community based systems of services designed to meet the needs of senior residents and caregivers.”
Snowden spoke further about the NPCOA’s mission, goals and activity programs. Natasha McHenry spoke for the Office of Community Services and Mike Menou spoke for Veteran Affairs.
Next everyone moved out to the front of the new building for the presentation of the flag by Buddy Maggio. State Representatives Terry Brown and Kenny Cox cut the ribbon in front of the entrance to the new building and guests poured inside to get cake, punch and most importantly tours.
Services the NPCOA provides includes commodity distribution, meals on wheels, disease prevention, health promotion, legal assistance, material aid, national family caregiver program, outreach, public education, telephone reassurance and transportation. They offer recreational activities including bingo, Tai Chi, quilting, computer classes and more. For information on NPCOA call 318-357-3250 or visit 1016 Keyser Ave.
1- Ribbon Cutting
2- Chairman William Allen introduces dignitaries
3- The crowd gathers around the flag pole
4- Buddy Maggio and Mike Menou raise the flag
5- NPCOA staff and directors and architect of the building George Minturn
6- Seniors couldn’t wait to practice Tai Chi in the new activity room