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Sheriff's department donates Wii gaming consoles to seniors

PLATTSBURGH Seniors citizens across the county now have a new way to exercise their minds and bodies, thanks to members of the Clinton County Sheriffs Department. The Senior Citizens Council of Clinton County recently received two Nintendo Wii gaming systems as part of a donation from members of the sheriffs department correctional officers union. Sheriff David N. Favro and union members presented the units and even set them up for the senior center as a measure of community service. We spoke to all the members of the unit and everyone welcomed the idea with open arms, said Sheriff Favro. They all embraced the idea and the thought ... Its great for me to be able to come with them to see what its like to give back to the community. Im thrilled to be a part of it. We wanted to present two of these Wii games Ill be honest, this is the first time in my life Ive ever seen one, Sgt. Robert Scully said, smiling, for the senior citizens to enjoy. We hope other unions will do the same thing for rest of the senior organizations around the county. The two gentleman and correctional officer Dawn McKinney, who was also present for the donation, all agreed the systems will be beneficial for not only those with limited mobility, but those who are completely confined to wheelchairs as well. The wireless controller allows the player to use the same motions as used in actual sports, such as baseball where a batter would keep his or her arms up and wait for the pitch. With a wrist band attached to the controller, the user doesnt have to worry about it slipping out of the hand, and even if it did, a rubber encasing makes the remote virtually unbreakable during normal use. Kathleen Hazel, executive director of the Senior Citizens Council, was equally as pleased as the officers to accept the game systems from them, noting they would be put to good use to assist seniors with yet another form of exercise. [Sheriff Favro] spoke at a Kiwanis Club meeting one day and was talking about this Wii, and I had no clue what a Wii was, said Ms. Hazel. He said he was going to work on getting some Wiis for seniors because they are so beneficial to your eye-hand coordination, your memory. Youre actually physically working. This is just wonderful. Mary Milne, a resident of Morrisonville who frequents the center, was one of the seniors who tried her hand at Wii Sports Bowling. Ms. Milne eventually got the hang of using the lightweight remote to maneuver the virtual bowling ball down the virtual lane knocking down well, virtually, all the virtual pins. I had a good time, said Ms. Milne. This is great; I think it will be fun for everyone. There were some here today that didnt try it out because maybe they were afraid to make fools of themselves, but were too old to let that bother us, said Plattsburgh resident Joan Green, who also frequents the center. No matter what we do to it, we cant break it. I just hope people use it. And use it they did. For some time after the donation that day, seniors lined up for their turn to try out other Wii sports such as baseball, golf and even tennis. Its the hope that occasional use will even turn into tournaments among the seniors as well, leading to their full enjoyment of the systems, said the sheriff. If you get stuck, if any of you have young grandchildren, theyre absolutely wonderful with these, Sheriff Favro said to the seniors before he left. I could barely get it to this point, other than that I rely on my kids.

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