Daily Point of Light # 1876 Apr 12, 2001

The Boot Scooters are a group of senior citizens who have danced their way into the hearts of hundreds of area residents from children to the elderly. What started as a six-week healthy exercise class has branched out to a community outreach program that has encouraged many who needed to be uplifted.

The Boot Scooters began line dancing for exercise in 1996. With a bond that will never be broken, they soon became a support system for one another; and now they have evolved into a program that increases self-esteem, a sense of belonging, and healthy lifestyles.

The Boot Scooters have worked in Decatur and have branched out further in the State of Alabama also. They teach and perform at the Wesley Acres Retirement Home monthly. They have been providing special dances and parties there for the past three years. The Boot Scooters also work with Decatur General as a Partner in Education with Somerville Road Elementary School where they participate in work parties to provide goodie bags for the children on each holiday and for other special occasions.

In addition to this, the Scooters work with NARCOG Annual Health Fair for Seniors. They provide entertainment and staffing at the event, which encourages seniors to move in any way they can to contribute to good health. They provide entertainment for the Decatur Chamber of Commerce Annual Health Fair, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and donate money to the Mental Health Association. The Boot Scooters were instrumental in encouraging other seniors to utilize the Decatur/Morgan Senior Center, and they provide entertainment at Delano Concerts in the Park, Decatur General Hospital’s Camp Bluebird and the Girl Scouts of North Alabama Country Hoe Downs.

In their special way, The Boot Scooters meet the emotional, physical, and social needs of all age groups. Members are constantly identifying both large and small needs of the community-at-large and individuals, and then igniting their network into action. The amount of time they spend together has also encouraged the free exchange of ideas that led to innovative programs such as an investment club designed to guide seniors through financial management.

The Boot Scooters overcome challenges everyday. Individuals in this group have mobility problems, but they are able to overcome this by modifying the dance to meet their individual need. Others have hearing and or vision disabilities and some are cancer survivors. Many have also overcome the loss of their spouses. It is easy for some to give of their money, but it is hard to give of your time and self. This group gives of their time, talent, and financial support, along with their mental, social, and emotional support to all they encounter.