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Sybene Center honors local woman as Senior of the Year

A local senior feels it’s important to keep active — not just your body, but also your mind. She does this by volunteering at the Lawrence County Multi-Purpose Senior Center at Sybene five days a week.

The work that Bonnie Fitzpatrick, 74, of South Point, does in the craft department at the center has earned her the center’s Senior of the Year award. She was presented the award in a ceremony honoring her Friday morning.

Darlene Green, site manager of the center for 14 years, appreciates Fitzpatrick’s dedication.

“Bonnie was instrumental in helping revive the craft department,” Green said. Fitzpatrick comes in around 9 a.m. and often stays until 4 p.m. each weekday. Green said the women aren’t just there for the crafts, though.

“They’re a blessing to each other,” Green said.

“I like sewing and working in the craft room,” Fitzpatrick said. “I have a lot of friends. We’re like family, like sisters.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard a negative thing from Bonnie,” Green said. “You look up to her.”

Lorene Plybon, 75, of Chesapeake, helps Fitzpatrick in the craft room.

“She’s one of my best friends,” Plybon said. “I love her very much.”

Myrtle Stover, 91, of South Point, was the recipient of the award last year and spoke highly of Fitzpatrick.

“She’s a lovely Christian lady,” Stover said. “She knows how to do everything. She’s very dedicated to what she does. She does really good work – the best.”

Fitzpatrick said the craft department is currently making quilts for the City Mission.

“We have a lot of talented people here,” she said. “We all pitch in and do what we can.”

She said whatever people can do, whether it be singing or playing an instrument or anything else, they need to do it.

“We’re all here with some purpose in life,” she said. “We have to use our bodies and whatever talent God gives us.”