The room, located at the Rusk Civic Center on Euclid Street, was officially dedicated and opened to the public Saturday, May 8, during a dance honoring the late Earl and Ruth Ross – for whom the Activity Center is named.
“Everything is just wonderful,” Patricia Ross, the couple’s youngest daughter, said during the dance. “I think they’d both be very pleased, especially since Dad wanted to start having dances here (at the Civic Center) so much, when he was still with us.”
Son Michael Ross added, “We appreciate the city doing this for the family. It really means a lot.”
The couple’s other two children, Jim Ross of Rusk and Barbara Nickle of San Marcos also thanked the city for the honor.
An estimated 55 people attended Saturday’s dance, which was hosted by the Friends of the Singletary Memorial Library. The dance raised more than $200 to help the Activity Center get established.
The Center currently features game tables and games, including dominoes, chess, checkers, cards and other board games; a television, magazines and books; two computer stations with Wi-Fi internet access; an upright piano; and a refreshments station, complete with coffee maker and microwave. Coffee was donated by the Daily Grind.
“The Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, to any retiree or senior citizen looking for a safe, comfortable place to visit, have some coffee, play a game of 42, Bridge or even Mah-Jongg,” said Amy Derrington, director of the Singletary Memorial Library. “I don’t know how many times in the past I’ve been asked if we had something like this for our senior citizens. We’re very excited to be able to say now, ‘yes, we do!’”
Activities planned at the Center in June include classes on making stained glass greeting cards, gift containers, turning trash into treasures and the proper care and handling of books. The Friends of the Library will also hold a dance every second Saturday of the month at the Rusk Civic Center, to benefit the Activity Center.
“We hope our seniors enjoy this new facility,” City Manager Mike Murray said. “Making the Ross Senior Activity Center available is one way the city is able to show its appreciation to some of the most important members of the community, and honor a couple that continually showed their love of this city through their service to it.”
The Friends of the Library would like to thank these individuals and businesses, without whom the Activity Center would not have been possible: Mr. and Mrs. William Parker; Jacob, Savana and Austin Parker; Matthew Ross; Kay Rogers; Roy and Penny Reynolds; Cliff McElfresh; John Williams; Ina Blazer; city officials Mike Murray, Fran Wendeborn and Mayor Angela Raiborn; JP Auto; the Daily Grind; Flowers N Things; Blake Furniture-Jacksonville; the Jacksonville Daily Progress; and the Rusk Baseball/Softball Association.