Senior Games promotion begins with ambassadors
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on February 17, 2017 9:57 AM
Jeanne Lovings, left, slides her puck on the shuffleboard as Pauline Gassaway, center, points and Terry Wright awaits her turn at Herman Park. The three women are currently fulfilling their roles as ambassadors for the Wayne County Senior Games.
Jeanne Lovings, right, places shuffleboard pucks for Terry Wright, left, and Pauline Gassaway as they get set to play at Herman Park.
The Wayne County Senior Games ambassadors are out in the community promoting the games and getting sponsors for the event.
This year for the first time instead of two ambassadors there are three -- Jeanne Lovings, Terry Wright and Pauline Gassaway.
Each was nominated by the senior games coordinator Stasia Fields with Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department and their applications were approved by the senior games personnel in Raleigh.
Mrs. Lovings has been the longest serving ambassador, marking this year as her fifth. She has been a participant in the games for 16 years.
"Stasia asked me to be an ambassador," the 77-year-old said. "I enjoyed the senior games so much that I said yes, even though I didn't know what all it was going to come out to be."
Her favorite part about being an ambassador is being with people.
"It keeps you going and motivated to keep moving, which is important for seniors," Mrs. Lovings said. "We promote the games and that it's all about health and wellness. We have to start the first of the year putting things together for the games and to get the word out."
She does a lot of word-of-mouth advertising for the games.
"And I try to find sponsors for our games because without sponsors, we have no money to put the games on.
"We also have a goodie bag each year that we give to each one of the senior games participants, and we get out and find things to put in those."
Ms. Wright, 69, said being a senior games ambassador helps her to give back to her community.
"I love being an ambassador because you can let people know what you're doing by promoting the games," she said.
She also gets the chance to help register seniors for the games, which she recently did at the Peggy Seegars Senior Center.
She explained what kinds of competitions are held at the games, so people could make up their minds as to what they wanted to try.
This is Mrs. Wright's third year serving as an ambassador.
She has participated in the senior games since 2008.
Ms. Gassaway is the newest ambassador, having been selected in January.
The 67-year-old attended ambassador training in Cary.
"It really gave me an appreciation for the senior games," Ms. Gassaway said. "As a participant in the games, you don't get the ins and outs or the financial part. It really opened my eyes up, and I have a new appreciation for what is put into making the games happen."
Although she is a new ambassador, Ms. Gassaway has already given a presentation on the senior games to residents at the Highlands.
Why is it important to have ambassadors for the senior games?
"I see it as being an assistant to the coordinator," Ms. Gassaway said. "It's impossible for her to get out and do the whole shebang. That is the role that I plan to play as an ambassador."
Mrs. Lovings said although being an ambassador can get quite hectic at times, she has enjoyed every minute of it.
"You need to have ambassadors to promote the games," Mrs. Lovings said. "And you need somebody to bring everybody together to put the games on. It takes right around 100 people to put the games on."
Either of the three senior games ambassadors are available to give presentations to civic groups, churches, schools, businesses or any other group interested in learning more by calling 919-739-7486.