Ping pong anyone? It's going around town!

Or rather I'm going around town with table tennis "kits" donated to the community by Walmart.

Colleen O'Baugh at Walmart helped with the donations. Each kit includes paddles and balls with a special adjustable net that will fit on any suitable table and make it into a ping pong table.

Our churches are community centers, and what better way to bring the community together than a friendly game of ping pong? Two churches, Methodist and Lighthouse, even belong to the Chamber of Commerce and already offer various activities outside of regular church functions.

As a matter of fact, 28 agencies meet at the Lighthouse Church Community Center, according to the minister and his wife, Scott and Millie Ratzloff. Their large gym can accommodate a variety of meetings.

I've placed three ping pong kits at churches: Lighthouse, 2455 Oliver; St. Joseph's, Third and E streets; and Cornerstone, 1281 Douglas St.

The versatility of ping pong is such that any age can play. I'm all for bringing different age groups together, and not always separating the youth, the men, the women, etc. We can all learn from each other.

I recently saw a ping pong tournament for seniors in Japan on TV, and the American woman who won was 89 years old! What a great goal to shoot for!

Everything is about energy:physical, mental and spiritual, and those are all interrelated. I believe there are others ways to stir up spiritual energy besides playing loud music, which many churches are partial to.

Father Adam at St. Joseph's told me there are 34 churches in Crescent City, which surprised me. Church Notebook writer Martha Williams mentioned that her church, New Life Community Church, 424 Second St., might include ping pong on game night.

Each of the three churches that have received the kits would appreciate help in organizing a ping pong program, or showing interest in playing ping pong, perhaps a donation of unused ping pong tables, or any other possible assistance or input.

I also placed a kit at Jordan Recovery and HASP, 1231 Northcrest Drive, 464-7849.Sandi Morrison, owner, was very appreciative. She said her guys are always looking for something to do.She also expressed her thanks to the Triplicate for publishing my Oct. 8 column about her exceptional drug recovery program.

Another ping pong kit was placed at the Senior Center, 1765 Northcrest Drive, 464-3069. One of the members gladly accepted the job of starting up the program.She asked me not to mention her name because she and her husband are already too busy volunteering.

The manager, Amantha Haney, said she would put ping pong on the center's calendar, and she also planned to talk to the Veterans Administration about starting a ping pong program.

I've talked to a number of people who've told me they would enjoy having a place to play ping pong. Many of them have played in the past at school, or otherwise.

Jon Alexander, for example, said he's very good at ping pong and would like to see us have a ping pong tournament. Principal Bill Hartwick at Crescent Elk said the middle school has ping pong tables, and after March 9 the gym should be available for ping pong.

Senior Sleuth runs every two weeks. Reach Joan Miles at 464-2729 or at