Coast senior citizens enjoy Mother’s Day cookout in Biloxi

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - With eased COVID-19 restrictions, St. Joseph Hospice and other organizers knew they had to do something special to kick off Mother’s Day weekend.

The hospice company sponsored a cookout at the Woolmarket Community Center, complete with hamburger plates and line dancing.

“They’re just having such a wonderful time,” said Woolmarket Senior Center Director Janet Meaut. “The day is beautiful for this.”

Organizers wanted to celebrate some Gulf Coast senior’s mothers and mother-figures.

“We even have a senior who is coming to serenade all the mothers,” said St. Joseph Hospice Personal Care Representative Kathy Aycock.

The festivities brought in a crowd of about 125 people, all from seven different senior citizen centers across the Coast, and all who attended were eager to interact in person again.

“It’s something that has been so much needed in the community,” Aycock said.

The main focus of the event was to celebrate some of South Mississippi’s older mothers, but organizers also wanted to commemorate Older American Month.

“I’m real happy. I’m happy to be alive,” senior Bill Stietenaroth said.

A year ago, Stietenaroth and his friends weren’t able to get together and celebrate, something that has now changed with COVID-19 cases declining and vaccinations increasing.

Now, the group is focused on making up for lost time.

“It feels good to finally get out,” Stietenaroth said. “We’ve been separated all year long.”

Senior center officials said people can expect more activities coming throughout the year as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations decline.

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