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Manager trying to spread word about Southeastern Senior Site

Martha Drennen invites seniors to 'just come and have fun with us'

August 25, 2011|By JANET HEIM | janeth@herald-mail.com
  • Martha Drennen, manager of the Southeastern Senior Site in Keedysville, wants to spread the word about the site. "Just come and have fun with us," she said.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

KEEDYSVILLE — It is a hidden treasure in Keedysville. Three times a week, the Southeastern Senior Site draws residents from Boonsboro, Keedysville and Sharpsburg who are older than 60 for a varied schedule of activities, speakers and lunch in the morning.

Martha Drennen has been the manager of the site, run by the Washington County Commission on Aging, for almost 16 years. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, seniors begin gathering about 8:30 a.m. at the Keedysville Community Center on Mt. Vernon Drive in the old Keedysville School.

Exercise classes, bingo, beanbag toss, horseshoes, cards, speakers on topics such as health and fitness, and just chatting and reminiscing are some of the options offered. Lunch is provided for a donation.

Drennen, 75, said she's older than some of the seniors that come for the programs.

"I relate to seniors pretty well. I always worked well with older people," said Drennen, whose grandmother worked as a nurse at Fahrney-Keedy in the 1940s.

Drennen was born in Frederick, Md., and grew up in the Washington, D.C., area because her father got a job there. She and her husband of 54 years, Gene, moved to Sharpsburg in 1993 from Ellicott City, Md., to be closer to family, many of whom live in the Middletown/Myersville, Md., area.

The couple had two sons, but one died at age 23 from Crohn's disease. They have two grandsons.

Drennen came to the center in 1995 for a chair-caning class, and said she saw the operation was in need of an aide. She got the job and eight months later, when the manager left, Drennen took that position.

As manager, she plans the activities, always seeking suggestions from those who come to the site. Drennen also arranges for speakers and oversees the programs when the senior site is open.

The site is one of six in Washington County and used to be open five days a week, but was cut to three because of budget cuts, Drennen said.

Now her goal is getting the word out about the site to increase attendance. Thanks to a three-day open house and signs made by Ginny and John Danko, six new people have signed up for the programs.

"Just come and have fun with us. I think they'd enjoy it, just getting out. It's a good group. Everybody gets along," Drennen said.

The group just celebrated its oldest member's 91st birthday. Drennen said the group of about 15 is made up of people mostly in their late 60s and early 70s.

"They're getting to be younger than me," Drennen said with a laugh.

For more information, call Drennen at the Southeastern Senior Site Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 301-432-5624, or go to www.wccoaging.org and search under Site Calendar.

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