Seniors tailgate party filled with fun and healthy lifestyle information

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – The Jackson Medical Mall isn’t just a place for health care and shopping. Friday was the return of the Tailgate Party for seniors, a chance for them to have fun while learning to live healthy.

The Senior Tailgating Party drew over 350 seniors from across the state, representing their favorite schools.

The Jackson Medical Mall Foundation hosts quarterly events just for them. Several senior centers in the region came to the party.

“Really because my wife fired me,” said retired Simmons High School football coach Charles Evans. Although he was persuaded to attend, the Hollandale resident believes it is important to stay active.

“I want to get better,” Evans said. “I walk a lot, I ride my bike when I have the chance.”

Humana and Oak Street Health provided health care information. This event focuses on self-care and breast cancer awareness. Juanita Thames is a 68-year-old retired dietitian who exercises daily. She came to the party with the West Side Senior Center.

“Our health is important today and when we walk through our establishment at the table, they tell us where to go if you have cancer, heart problems, body problems, whatever the situation is,” Thames said.

But it wasn’t just business when the music started dancing and took center stage with an emphasis on movement.

“We always want our seniors to have a good time. We don’t want to just give them piles of information,” said Fallon Brewster, director of planning strategy for the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation. “We want to get them up, get them moving and make sure they have a good time. Thus, everyone represented their favorite team, whether at the high school, college or professional level.

Eighty-one-year-old James E. Todd represented the Utica campus of Hinds Community College while heeling. He handed out water and said that staying active and doing for others keeps you healthy.

“I try to go out there and take every chance I have,” Todd said. “Yesterday I helped distribute water at Morrison Elementary School, and it feels good when I help someone else.”

The Senior Tailgate Party has returned for the fourth year following the COVID break. A Sip and Shop event is planned for seniors in December.

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