As more and more retirees move to Panama City Beach, they need larger facilities to accommodate their unique situations.
Those seniors have now received a new center that will meet those needs for many years to come.
The Oatfield Center is the latest addition to the Panama City Beach Senior Center complex at the corner of Lyndell Lane and Middle Beach Road. When it opens to the public in a few weeks it will offer more activities for both visiting and local seniors.
Lilly Oatfield is a member of the committee that drew up the plans, "We have line dancing for seniors. We have yoga we will have a woodworking shop in there. We will have bridge and we are building up to a senior day out program."
The Oatfiled Center is named after Lilly's husband John. He was instrumental in getting the new addition off-the-ground.
"My husband was again drawing up plans for this space here. Mayor Sullivan was meeting with us on the financial committee to expand this because what people must realize is that this area just draws retirees."
It took the Senior Center nearly seven years to get to this day. Then community leaders could cut the ribbon on the new 8,100 square foot facility. Many of the seniors who use the center helped the city of Panama City Beach raise the money.
Besides the city, Lilly Oatfield says there was the help of some key players.
"The biggest backer behind everything is Charlie Hilton; St. Joe's Foundation is the next biggest backer. The next biggest ones are Bob Blackerby and Earl Durden."
Membership fees are kept to a minimum, so the seniors can enjoy all the activities the center has to offer.