CUMMING, Ga. - Cumming continues to grow in popularity for retirees with the senior population now making up 18.3 percent of the city. Smart Asset ranking the community 2nd in the nation for best places to retire based off of tax-friendliness, medical care and social life. 

Director of Forsyth County Senior Services, Ruthie Brew, says their membership continues to grow, "last year, we tripled our participation in our congregate activity program and our adult membership."

Area businesses, like McDonald & Son Funeral Home and Crematory, host a variety of community events to cater to the growing senior citizen community including sock hops, movie nights and holiday parties. McDonald & Son Funeral Home recently acquired a bus after realizing that many seniors struggled to find transportation to area events. 

Senior Bus
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Al Richardson, the director of the company’s pre-need program, alongside owners, Lauren McDonald III and his wife Claire McDonald, came up with the idea to buy a 25 passenger Ford E450 Bus. The vehicle outfitted with safety cameras, a Bluetooth speaker system, and 40-inch flatscreen television is now coasting the streets of Cumming, Cleveland, and Dahlonega catering to seniors. 

Lauren McDonald III says they just wanted to find a way to give back to the seniors in their community, "We really put a lot into making this a nice vehicle, and we just want the community to know that we care."

Senior Bus
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The Funeral home has already done five trips, and still has 21 trips scheduled through the end of 2019. Lovingly named the "Senior Bus," the vehicle transports passengers all over the state including a recent trip to the Dahlonega wineries, the Murphy casinos, and even short ride up the Forsyth County Parks & Rec center.

Pickball
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When you walk into the gymnasium at the County Parks & Rec building, you'll find anywhere from 40 to 150 pickleball players. The coordinator of the pickleball league, Jerry Killenger, says the sport continues to become more popular in the area with seniors, "We have grown to over 150 members with most players 55 years old and older." 

A longtime pickleball player, 85-year-old Cal Dody, says playing the sport has brought him friends and a sense of community, "I play for exercise and for the social life." Many of the seniors that play in the league say its made them fall in love with Cumming including Mary Layton, "It's the best part about living in here."

The pickleball league meets regularly during open gym time at the Forsyth County Parks & Rec building every Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. No equipment or experience is needed.

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