David Ball – For The Record

It’s hard to believe but the Pinehurst Labor Day Senior Citizen Picnic started 15 years ago.

Pete Runnels, mayor of Pinehurst, came up with the idea then and the event has been held every year with the exception of 2008 when it was postponed and ultimately canceled due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. This year’s event holds promise to be another memorable one with an expected 600 to 700 in attendance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, September 7 at Family Worship Center, 2300 41st St. Runnels said the best time to arrive for the picnic is at 10:30 a.m.

Parking is limited at the church so there will be parking and shuttle buses at Sabine Federal Credit Union, 1939 Strickland, running back and forth. Boy Scouts will assist people in and out of their cars and guide them to the registration table at the church.

There is no charge to attend, according to Runnels, City Administrator Robbie Hood and Organizer Telisa Derosier spoke about the 2015 picnic.

Runnels said the city has “successfully gathered enough money to finance the picnic.”

It is not necessary to be a Pinehurst resident to attend and all area senior citizens are invited.

A color guard will lead off the picnic and Pastor Scott Storey of Family Worship Center. Runnels said he wanted to thank the church for allowing the use of their pavilion on the grounds each year for the picnic.

U.S. Rep. Brian Babin will also give a brief presentation.

Robert’s Meat Market and Restaurant will once again be catering the meal of a smoked link, potato salad, chicken and sausage gumbo and a dessert and drinks. Food and drink will be served at the tables by members of the Little Cypress Lions Club. Tickets will be given at the door for meals.

Entertainment will be provided the Doug Childress, a pedal steel guitarist, and the Orange Blossom Dancers. In addition, there will be door prizes such as 40-inch flat screen TV and a rocking chair, donated by local merchants.

Three vendors- Liz Hogan’s Allstate Insurance agency, Claybar Funeral Home and Innovative Air Supplies along with several other local vendors who have been supportive in making donations to make the event possible, Runnels said.

There will be Porta-Potties on the grounds too.

In a prior Record article, former City Administrator Joe Parkhurst said, the reason it was started was to take a recognized holiday that wasn’t necessarily a family holiday and do something that friends and neighbors could come together and share companionship. “It was all for the people and it’s been a good thing.”