Thrive at 35: Rufty-Holmes honors accreditation on anniversary

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 23, 2023

SALISBURY — Rufty-Holmes Senior Center has been one of the pillars of Rowan County since the 1980s and countless people have been part of the effort to make it the gathering place it is today. To celebrate its 35th anniversary and having completed its fifth national re-accreditation process, Rufty-Holmes held a party to celebrate the achievements.

Rufty-Holmes was founded in 1988 and became the first senior center in North Carolina to be nationally accredited in 2001. The center must meet nine area standards and be professionally peer reviewed to qualify for reaccreditation. On Thursday afternoon, the theme at Rufty-Holmes was “Thrive at 35” and the band Divided by Four kicked things off by playing some tunes for an excited crowd of community members and volunteers. The event also included food and drink, and guest speakers sing praises of the facility.

State Sen. Carl Ford offered a pre-recorded message that he made while in Raleigh to share with everyone.

“We appreciate you folks at Rufty-Holmes doing so many good things for us old folks, 55 and older. We appreciate the great programs, fantastic food, fellowship, fun, playing pool, swimming in the pool, playing games, exercising. It’s all there and you folks do a fantastic job,” Senator Ford said.

Rowan County Commissioner Craig Pierce was once on Rufty-Holmes’ board of directors and now serves as an advisor to their finance committee. As a county commissioner, he spoke on how vital Rufty-Holmes is to the area and as the population continues to increase, it will stay that way.

“All the commissioners understand how important the center is and what it does for the community and we’ve continually tried to fund it as much as we possibly can so they can continue serve as many people in this community,” Pierce said.

Mayor Karen Alexander announced and read a formal proclamation about Rufty-Holmes before they were awarded a plaque to commemorate their accreditation. Just like Commissioner Pierce, Mayor Alexander gave the same reassurance that Rufty-Holmes is in the city’s plans for the future.

“Older adults are an integral aspect of our community, providing wisdom, life long experiences that people of all ages can benefit from. And where as the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center has involved, enriched, and empowered older adults in Salisbury and Rowan County since 1988…And of course, you are in our budget every year and will remain there,” Mayor Alexander said.

Rosalie Roberts has been a Rufty-Holmes member for 22 years. The reason she loves it so much is because of the friendships she’s made and the exercise programs. Roberts is one of many who have been positively impacted by the selfless care of Rufty-Holmes.

“It’s probably the best place ever. I’ve lived in several states and I’ve been to many of these types of places and senior centers, this is tops,” Roberts said. “I’m surprised how many people are here. There weren’t enough chairs in the whole building for everybody.”