Area residents will soon have the chance to recognize caregivers for their dedication and check out the Columbus Senior Center while enjoying some good food, music and companionship.
It’s part of the Columbus Senior Center’s Christmas Open House and Caregiver Appreciation event set to take place from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at the facility, 3111 19th St.
The free extravaganza will boast free doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate all morning with drawings for special prizes like a 24-inch Roku Smart TV, streaming stick and more throughout the day. Organizers said they’re hoping people will come to check out all the facility boasts.
“The Columbus Senior Center has so much to offer to the aging adults in our area. It truly is a place for seniors to meet with others for a cup of coffee and conversation, or a well-balanced, nutritious noon meal,” Senior Center Manager Patty Laska said.
“There are a variety of activities every week, including an exercise room with treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes and resistance machines. We also offer line dancing, low-impact exercise and stretching classes for maintaining health and wellness. The Senior Center also has card groups, billiards, bingo, game boards and puzzles, quilting clubs, musical entertainment and a monthly movie.”
The Center will offer a lunch on Friday that will feature Swiss steak, a baked potato, cauliflower, a dinner roll and pears (contact the Senior Center at 402-563-4444 to make a reservation ahead of time) for a suggested $5 meal donation for those 60+ and $10 under age 60. Diners and all attendees will be treated to a performance from Christian musician James Hintz, of Fairbury, Nebraska, from 11:15 until noon.
(ABOUT THE PHOTO: James Hintz. PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMES HINTZ MUSIC ON FACBOOK.)
“God has blessed my life with the ability of music and so I want to bless lives around me with that gift …” Hintz said. “I consider it a great honor to be able to play at the Columbus Senior Center as this is the generation that encouraged and inspired me to want to pursue a career in music.”
Christmastime is arguably bittersweet for Hintz, as he can’t help but recall a tragic automobile accident around the holiday that occurred and resulted in the passing of his and his wife’s then-5-year-old son, Jared.
“Jared’s favorite time of the year was Christmas, but not for the reasons you might think: Toys, toys and chocolate,” Hintz said. “It was the atmosphere of doing good to one another.”
That boy’s spirit lives on in a song the artist and his wife wrote about their late son: “Christmas Angel.”
“On the night of that tragic event, my wife, daughter, and myself were being transported to the emergency room. During that time my wife suddenly gasped; and expressed that she felt our son leave this earth going to Heaven. This is expressed in the last two lines of the song …” Hintz said. “You see; besides my relationship with Christ; my family is my life, my joy … my everything. Life is full of inspiration - I thank God for my family that brings inspiration alive in me.”
Hintz began singing at age 11 in 1975 while quickly growing his musical abilities by learning to play various instruments.
“It was also during that time that my family formed a gospel trio, and that was the springing board to start my love for singing and playing music,” he said.
Since then, Hintz has made a name for himself playing various shows throughout the area and utilizing social media (search ‘James Hintz Music’ and ‘The RV Guy’). His songs can also be found on streaming platforms such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and YouTube Music.
Following Hintz’ performance, there will be cookies, dessert bars and coffee for attendees to enjoy, but Laska said the time will be used to pay provide some special recognition to caregivers. The first 10 caregivers to come in will receive a special gift basket, she noted.
“Along with getting the public to come to see what we offer and just enjoy the beginning of the Holiday season, I would like to acknowledge the caregivers in the area, who give of themselves daily to care for a friend or family member,” Laska said.
“They are remarkable people who deserve to be recognized for all they do, and I am hoping that this event will give them the opportunity to stop by, perhaps with their loved one, and be celebrated for all they do to enrich another’s life.”
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