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Senior Olympian Robert Barnes

Robert Barnes practices at one of the two pools at the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center.

He has competed in six Arkansas Senior Olympics and has won 24 gold medals, 17 Silver Medals and five Bronze Medals. He is the Hays Center’s most prolific swimmer.

That is not all Robert does. He volunteers for the Hays Center on many varied projects; the latest of which is his weekly Weight Loss and Control class that he teaches every Wednesday. Robert also volunteers at the North Little Rock Health Department helping folks understand the Affordable Care Act.

These duties are typical of Robert and his sense of giving back to the community is infectious. If there is a pot luck in the Hays Center Ballroom for the swimmers, Robert volunteers to smoke a brisket or make a desert. At times you can see Robert in the parking lot picking up trash.

The old adage “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me” seems to be Robert’s personal motto.

Robert’s best quality likely is his friendly nature. Whether swimming or working a pot luck or just visiting in the hall, Robert makes friends readily and keeps them close. Throughout our programs, our members know Robert and appreciate his wit and good nature. The Hays Center is lucky that Robert Barnes came our way.