Barrett knew any funds brought in to support the agency’s mission were badly needed and money well-spent.



South Gulf resident Mike Barrett approached last week’s Rock-A-Thon in support of Gulf County Senior Citizens on two levels.

On a grander plane, Barrett knew any funds brought in to support the agency’s mission were badly needed and money well-spent.

“All of us are going to be seniors one of these days,” Barrett said.”The reality is that every year it seems the state and the county are cutting their budgets every year.”

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, to boot, would eliminate all funding for the federal Meals and Wheels program targeting at-risk seniors.

“We have a moral obligation to look after those who can not look after themselves,” Barrett said.

On a more basic level, Barrett added, he was made for the Rock-A-Thon.

“I do have a lot of experience with a rocking chair,” Barrett said with a laugh.

Therefore, Barrett and more than two dozen other folks sat back and rocked for funds at three county locations last Saturday, producing what Rob Locascio said was the agency’s most successful fundraiser.

“The community really came together,” added Locascio, an administrative assistant for Gulf County Senior Citizens. “This was a first and it was a big success.”

The Rock-A-Thon worked along thes lines.

The event had three primary sponsors, Duren’s Piggly Wiggly and St. Joe Hardware in Port St. Joe and David Rich’s IGA in Wewahitchka.

“The Wewahitchka Woman’s Club really took the ball and ran with it in Wewahitchka,” Locascio said. “We can not thank them enough.”

Participants signed up to rock in a chair, provided by Senior Citizens and sponsored at various levels by agency supporters, at one of those locations, and secured pledges from friends, family, whoever, to underwrite their time in the chair.

In addition, buckets were placed at each site to collect additional donations during the Rock-A-Thon.

In effect, it broke down into three donation streams, with all proceeds from the event going to Gulf County Senior Citizens.

In Wewahitchka, Locascio noted, the Wewahitchka Woman’s Club assumed the responsibility for all three streams, lining up the chairs, the sponsorships and same-day donations.

The goal, Locascio said, was to try to bolster resources in order to stave off the kind of emergency situation the agency found itself in last year when expected federal food funding was not forthcoming, putting programs in a strait-jacket for a month to six weeks.

“We just want to thank the whole community,” Locascio said. “Those who sponsored a chair, or made pledges, or dropped a dollar or two in a bucket: thank you.”

Power rockers for the day were: Marie Hair, Judy Waugaman, Marcy Trahan, Brooks Jones, Mike Barrett, Lynn Lanier, Donna Jones, Rev. Chester Davis, Linda Griffin and Betty Holloway.

Rockers for the day were: Henry and Mary Flack, Lynn Dwyer, Rosemary Lewis, Carol Burrows, Joe Paul, Loretta Watkins, Pam Higgs, Juanita Mouring, Ferald Greer, Dennis Barfield, Samantha Lanier, Tommy Dwyer and Joann Locascio.

The following businesses and organizations contributed to the Rock-A-Thon: The Sand Bucket, Barfield Bail Bond, Duren’s Trading Company, St. Joe Hardware, Rich’s IGA, Gulf Coast Real Estate Group, Hannon Insurance, PeopleSouth Bank, Dupree’s Custom Metal Roofing, Farnsley & Johnson Wealth Management Consultants, LLC, New Life Christian Association, the Wewahitchka Woman’s Club, the Lions Club of Port St. Joe and The Gospel Singers.