In Shirley Pollom's many years working with residents at Clay Health Center, 1408 E. Hendrix St., the activity director has learned that each person needs to find something they can do that keeps their interest, whether it's playing a hand of cards or creating an artistic keepsake.
It didn't surprise her that six of the residents she regularly works with earned ribbons in the nursing home category this year at the Clay County 4-H Fair, including: Harold Rogers, 65; Irene Dierdorf, 88; Roy Fagg, 51; Ethel Taylor, 78; Virginia Church, 69; and Dorothy Linton, 76.
Each submitted a felt design they colored carefully with markers.
"If any credit is to be given, it's hers," exclaimed Rodgers.
The others quickly agreed Pollom has given them support in their creative endeavors.
Linton pointed out that she and her roommate, Church, are each already working on another coloring in the activity room at the center. Their bedroom walls are clad with the colorful images they've created. Both have trouble using their right hands but learned to manage holding the markers with their left now after suffering strokes.
"I've always liked to color," Linton said, Church nodding in agreement. Church won the purple Champion Award for her picture of two children holding an umbrella with a rainbow hovering in the sky.
Dierdorf, the Reserve Champion winner, was delighted with her pink ribbon. She created a picture of a clown on a crescent moon on the black felt background.
Anna Fagg, Chairman over the open category at the fair this year, said that all nursing homes were invited to submit an entry in the relatively new extension category. Clay Health Center was the only one to participate this year.
"It gives them something to look forward to," she said, encouraging more homes to participate next year. Dierdorf couldn't agree more. "I was shocked (about the ribbon). I never took anything to the fair before," she said, smiling.