Both Cherokee County Senior Services and the City of Woodstock's William G. Long Senior Center have seen increases in membership.
At the senior center in Woodstock, there were 375 active members in 2008. In 2009, that number increased to 500, and today the center has 570 members.
Betty Rice, senior services coordinator, said the increase is due to the wide variety of programs the center offers.
She said some older seniors come to the center believing there won't be a diverse offering of activities for them to participate in.
"They get a little surprise," she said of when new senior citizens visit the new facility on Arnold Mill Road.
At Cherokee County Senior Services, they are averaging 40 people each day at each location, which include the daily programs at the Canton center and weekly programs in Waleska and Ball Ground and on Bells Ferry Road in southwest Cherokee. In 2009, each location saw between 30 and 35 a day, and in 2008, they averaged about 30 daily.
The Canton center's congregate meal program, which includes lunch and activities on Mondays through Fridays, is seeing 150 people each day, up from 130 last year and 125 in 2008.
The county's program is also seeing growth with its home-delivered Meals-on-Wheels program. In 2009 and 2008, the county averaged about 160 meals delivered each day. So far this year, the total has jumped to 175 each day.
Barbara Dobyne, the county's director of senior services, said the increases can be attributed to the growing senior citizen population.
"We also provide good services," she said.
Both organizations have big plans for 2010.
Ms. Rice said she would like to get more Woodstock senior citizens involved in the spring Senior Olympics, recruit more volunteers to work at the center and add more classes to its Learning Enjoyment After Fifty program.
LEAF offers classes in such subjects as painting, singing, crocheting, local history, grandparenting, yoga, knitting, mah-jongg, greeting card creation, bridge, basket weaving, woodcarving, mosaics and exercise.
Ms. Rice also said the center will conduct classes this year in identify theft, adult protective services and scam prevention.
"You've got to learn and know what to offer," she said when asked about how class subjects are selected. "If you don't, they are not going to want to come."
The Woodstock city government also is applying for a Community Development Block Grant to fund improvements to the center's courtyard and expansion and resurfacing of its parking lot.
The city is asking for $80,000, said Preston Pooser, Woodstock's parks and recreation director.
Ms. Dobyne said she would like to reach out to more businesses in the community that could provide services to county senior center patrons, expand program offerings at the four locations and possibly start a basic computer training class.
Ms. Dobyne also mentioned she would like to begin a partnership with the Cherokee County Animal Shelter to allow some seniors to walk pets during the day.
She said the program would benefit both seniors and the pets as they all will get exercise and companionship
Along with increasing membership, both organizations saw other successes in 2009.
Ms. Dobyne said her department saw 175 of its seniors "adopted" for its annual Adopt-A-Senior Christmas program, which provides presents to Meals-on-Wheels clients.
Ms. Dobyne said about 20 children were placed through its Kinship Program, which arranges for grandchildren of senior center members to attend day camps at the Canton Family YMCA or the Mimms Boys & Girls Club.
Senior Services also partnered with Comfort Keepers to provide in-home care items such as walkers, wheelchairs and lift chairs for seniors in need.
Ms. Dobyne said budget constraints last year prevented her department from presenting its annual "Bankers and Business" bowling challenge, which raises money for the county senior services. She said she hopes the fundraiser will be held this year.
The move from the Woodstock Community Center to the former city building department facility was perhaps the biggest success the city's senior center saw in 2009, Ms. Rice said.
After the city government moved its operations to the Woodstock City Hall Annex on Highway 92, the senior center was able to move into the building department space.
Ms. Rice said starting the LEAF program, beginning defensive driving courses, holding movie and ice cream socials as well as various once-a-month informational programs were successes as well.
The center in 2009 also began a weekly lunch or dinner social for which volunteers cook a gourmet meal to serve to seniors at the facility.
Ms. Rice said the center's New Year's Eve party was successful, too, with 65 people attending.
Another new addition for the center last year was offering overnight trips last year. In September, senior center members went to Savannah.
In June, they will travel to Branson, Mo. to see county and western shows, and will visit Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tenn. to see the Great Smoky Mountains.