The South Arkansas Center on Aging was the first center
established with Tobacco Settlement funding. The
Tai Chi Program at SACOA
most popular programs are Tai Chi, Healthy Cooking and Discussions with the Doctor. Counting all of their various
programs, the SACOA had more than 15,000 educational
encounters over the past two years. They also had a very
busy senior health clinic where they had more than 11,000
In 2009, SACOA expanded its programs addressing mind, body
and spirit when it received a $30,000 grant from the King
Foundation to initiate a tai chi program for older adults in
South Arkansas. SACOA’s tai chi program lets participants set
their own pace of gentle exercise and stretching, performing
each position slowly and with much grace.
Healthy Cooking is offered in two counties with a request
from four other counties to begin the program when funding
allows. “Discussions with the Doctor” educates older adults
of South Arkansas in Union and Columbia Counties, with
local doctors giving of their time and talent to educate our
In May 2009, the South Arkansas Symphony performed at the
First Financial Symphony on the Square, playing songs from
the Big Band era as well as patriotic music and Broadway
show tunes. The Senior Symphony, which offered older adults
an opportunity to enjoy music of all types, resulted from a
partnership of the South Arkansas Symphony, First Financial
Bank and SACOA.
The first performance, which was in the afternoon at
Westside Baptist Church, included a reception for the South
Arkansas Symphony musicians and those senior adults
attending the event. That evening, the Symphony played on
the east lawn of the Union County Courthouse in El DoradoEl Dorado
to honor veterans with an armed forces salute.
SACOA leveraged $107,058 in funding, volunteer time
committed and in-kind resources in 2008 and 2009.
This center serves eight counties in south Arkansas: Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita and Union.