A true daughter of Macon County, Jamie Dallas is very happy to be back home. Dallas, one of the last babies to actually be born at Macon County General, started work in her new position as director of the Senior Center of Macon County on Monday, April 14.
“When I was a little girl, I promised I’d never come back here to this little place,” said Jamie Dallas, who graduated high school in Tacoma, Washington.
Every three years, Jamie’s parents – Carol and James Jenkins – brought their family home to visit grandparents Truman and Mae Shaw, and Uncle Jimmy Shaw.
As a ‘military’ child who was raised in big cities, Jamie couldn’t imagine living somewhere as rural and boring as Macon County.
Not only did she come back, Dallas and her husband Barry raised their three children – Erin, Amber, and Caleb – here in Macon County.
Now, Jamie Dallas wants to give back to Macon County by making a difference for the better; particularly, a difference at the Senior Center.
“As soon as I get the feel of things here, we’re going to recruit more people into the Center,” Dallas said during the first half hour of her new job. "Then we’re going to turn our attention to the new Senior Center Building,” she continued. “The building is our number one priority.”
And what a difference that would make to the seniors who regularly use the small space made available to them at the UCHRA (Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency) building. Currently, the Senior Center is renting three rooms at the UCHRA building, and using the kitchen and dining room by invitation. It’s a nice, friendly place; but it’s not theirs.
Theirs will be the building they build on county-owned land just behind the UCHRA and Health Department buildings. The building will be funded with donated money that was left over from a matching grant that was used to build the waterline to accommodate Nestle.
Nestle, explained Commissioner Anna Dean Carter, put up the matching part of the grant money. So when there was money left over at the end of the project, it was Nestle that suggested to the county that it be used for a good cause.
How is the Center going to recruit more members? Well, said board member Ronnie Mowell, by asking them to stop by between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to see just how much fun and what good exercise it is to play pool; by promising to have plenty of Karaoke available, which Dallas wondered jokingly is what landed her the director’s position; and by inviting them to the Center’s next big planned event: the April potluck birthday dinner.
“Everybody brings a dish, and we celebrate everyone who has an April birthday,” said Carter. “You don’t have to have an April birthday – just come help us celebrate those who do. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Board of Directors is very pleased to have Dallas as their new director, they said unanimously, and is looking forward to working with her.
So, whether you’re looking for fun and games, songs, or just some good conversation, they want to invite everyone to stop by the Senior Center to meet Jamie, check out the activities, and visit a spell.