Seniors Enjoy Socializing at First Thursday Friends Club


By Judie Holcomb-Pack

The Forsyth County Public Library offers more than just books – for a group of seniors at the Carver School Road branch, it offers a chance to get together every month with friends, hence the clever name “First Thursday Friends Club.”

Charlene Edwards, the group’s organizer, said that after the library opened, she noticed there were a lot of seniors and retirees coming to the library. She decided to survey the older patrons to see if they would be interested in getting together as a group. The answer was a resounding “Yes!”

Between 10 and 20 seniors attend the First Thursday Friends Club every month. Sometimes activities are arranged around a theme, such as January’s National Hobby Month, when the group made collages and decorated picture frames, while other members talked about their hobbies.

Elaine Ragland, who is a spry 88 years old, showed the group the books she has written for parents to help their children learn their A B C’s and to learn to read. She has also written a book of meditations. Her love of books and writing springs out of her years as a teacher in Virginia.

Deborah Streeter, a local poet who has created her own line of greeting cards, helped the group make collages and decorate picture frames with items such as seashells and scrapbook materials.

Veronica Sheppard said about the group, “We just enjoy getting together.” That was evident from the various conversations going on around the room.

Charlene mentioned that the group is active in the community and holds a back-to-school drive to collect items to donate to schools. They also enjoy taking short trips or going out to lunch together. They have speakers, plan presentations such as for Black History Month, or special events like the Mad Hatter Tea Party. They invite local students to visit the group to talk about their lives, as well as listen to the seniors’ stories about how things were when they were growing up. Having intergenerational conversations has been inspiring for both the seniors and the students.

Along with participating in the Thursday Friends group, Maurice Johnson also teaches pinochle at the William Sims Recreation Center on the first and third Tuesdays. She enjoys seeing people try it for the first time and then get hooked on playing. It’s a great game for keeping your mind sharp.

First Thursday Friends is an open group and anyone can stop in and check it out at 11 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month. There are no dues or requirements for joining, although some of the members do bring snacks to share with everyone.

The only requirement, as Charlene said, is to “come and bring a smile.”

For more information on the First Thursday Friends Group, call Charlene Edwards at the Carver School Road branch library, 336-703-2910, or email

The library also offers computer classes for seniors age 50 and older, as well as adult coloring classes.


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