Seniors, police foster understanding, respect

By Ed Brock

Cooking is a labor of love, said Morrow police major and semi-professional barbecue master Charlie Sewell as more than 500 people enjoyed his cooking at the Forest Park TRIAD's recent barbecue.

"And there is a lot of labor in that love," Sewell said.

At noon the day before Sewell had started cooking the Boston butt roasts that were promptly devoured by visitors to the Forest Park Senior Center Friday.

"It's great," said TRIAD member Joe Wimberly shortly after his first bite of Sewell's handiwork. "I've been delivering all day. Now I get my reward."

The barbecue, a fund-raiser for the TRIAD club that acts to further a relationship between the city's seniors and police, is the latest activity held at the center that is now seven months old.

"We're hoping this will become an annual event," Forest Park Mayor Chuck Hall said.

The cookout, and the raffle of a 32-inch television, raised about $3,000 for the TRIAD, Forest Park police Capt. Chris Matson said.

"Overall it's been very successful," Matson said.

More events are planned to be held at the center next month, Forest Park Senior Services Coordinator Mary Ann Connely said. A Senior Olympics will be held May 7 through 9 with events including running, walking, shuffleboard, chess and billiards.

Eight Forest Park seniors qualified two years ago for the U.S. Seniors National Games that will be held in Hampton Downs, Va. from May 24 to June 6.

"This is a good warmup for the nationals," Connely said.

Applications for the local games are available at the senior center, the Forest Park Recreation Center in Starr Park and the county's senior centers on Battlecreek Road in Jonesboro and Riverdale Road in Riverdale.

A limited number of tickets are also available for the May 24 "Senior Ho-Down" to be held at the center.

The Forest Park Senior Center is at 5087 Park Avenue next to Kiwanis Stadium-Hartupee Field.