Senior citizens gather for big birthday bash

There were several different kinds of birthday cake laid out at the Gulf County Senior Citizens Association’s Port St. Joe center on Thursday – chocolate, vanilla, lemon, cookie cake.

With so many people to celebrate, the center wanted to make sure they had everyone’s favorite.

The Gulf County seniors had gathered that afternoon to celebrate with their friends who had June birthdays. It was one of the largest crowds the center had seen, and the guests of honor – Sheila Farmer, Dot Odom and Sue Anderson – were happy to catch up with everyone.

“We’re having a birthday party for the month of June birthdays,” said the GCSCA’s Director Eddie Fields. “And they seem to really be enjoying it, so we’re going to try to have one of these every month, and we’ll invite the mayor, and the city commissioners and the county commissioners to every one of them.”

Port St. Joe Mayor Rex Buzzett, City Commissioner Eric Langston, and County Commissioners Sandy Quinn and Philip McCroan all stopped by to wish the honorees a happy birthday and to hear from the senior citizens about issues and concerns.

“It’s a special place,” said Langston, looking around the crowded room. “It’s been here since I was a little boy, and coming here and seeing this, knowing that it’s a place that our elderly people can go and be free and socialize and have fun, shows its importance.”

“They’ve done a lot to pave the way for us younger people, and it’s important that we respect what they’ve done.”

Though the party was held in Port St. Joe, the center welcomed seniors from throughout the area for the event, with many traveling down from Wewahitchka or Mexico Beach.

After food was finished and speeches were made, dozens of seniors stayed at the center catching up over a puzzle or a card game for several hours.

For more information about the Gulf County Senior Citizens Association and upcoming events, visit the organization’s Facebook page at or call 850-229-8466.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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