Sarah Brooks reigns as an Ambassador for Piedmont Plus Senior Games.

Sarah Brooks is interviewed on WTOB about Senior Games.

Sarah Brooks reigns as an Ambassador for Piedmont Plus Senior Games.
March 28
00:00 2019

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

At 91 years old, you would think that the former Ms. N.C. Senior America would be slowing down, but not Sarah Brooks. She squeezed in an interview with The Chronicle after her bowling league and an interview on WTOB radio, where she talked about the upcoming Senior Games.

As well as an ambassador for the Piedmont Plus Senior Games/SilverArts, Sarah also wears the crown and sash of a former Ms. N.C. Senior America 1998. She had been a member of Snappy Tappers for 18 years, so she tap-danced her way to the crown. She went on to represent North Carolina in the National Ms. Senior America pageant in Biloxi, Miss., where she tap-danced to the Charleston. Although she didn’t win, she was voted Most Vivacious, an honor that fits her perfectly, even today.

As a Senior Games ambassador, Brooks talks to groups about the fun and friendship that participating in Senior Games offers. And she walks the talk. Sarah participates in the bowling, cornhole and horseshoes competitions, as well as enters the SilverArts competition in photography, oil painting and hatmaking. “I’m trying to keep as active as I can,” Brooks explains.

When asked about competing in the sports events in her age category, Brooks said that she was happy when she moved up to the age category of 90-94. “I do have competition,” she admits. A friend Marie Matthews is her main competition and she is looking forward to going up against her in the cornhole competition this year.

Brooks graduated from Hampton University in 1950, received a master’s degree in business education from Hunter College in 1970, and a professional diploma in school administration from Fordham University. She was inducted into the Phi Delta Kappa honor society. She taught business education in high school and became a school administrator at a school for pregnant teens. She retired in 1986 from Mt. Vernon Public Schools. In 1991 she moved to Winston-Salem to be closer to her daughter and her family.

While living in New York, Brooks had been active in Girl Scouts since the time her daughter was in second grade. She laughed when she remarked, “My daughter was in college and I was still in selling Girl Scout cookies!” She was the vice chair of the Westchester Putnam Girl Scout Council and awarded the Silver Cross Pro Juvente, the highest award you can receive in Catholic Girl Scouts, which was awarded in a ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Brooks continued her volunteerism when she saw an ad in 1993 where the National Black Theatre Festival was looking for volunteers. She thought that sounded like fun, so she signed up and has been volunteering ever since, and also with the Little Theatre as house manager and usher. She has also had bit parts in movies, including “Goodbye, Solo,” which was screened at the RiverRun Film Festival a couple years ago, and most recently in a commercial for Texas Pete.

Being diabetic, Brooks has been a motivational speaker for diabetes education for Wake Forest Baptist Health for over 20 years. She believes that keeping busy keeps her healthy. She loves to bowl and bowls in two leagues and is president of the Golden Age Seniors league at Northside Lanes. She is a member of St. Leo’s Catholic Church where she is a Eucharistic minister and lector. She was honored as a “7 Over 70” award recipient in 2017.

Brooks said her mother always said, “Can’t was not in our vocabulary,” and “Do your best and be the best that you can be.” She believes people should “treat people like you want to be treated, not like they treat you.”

Looking back over her lifetime and all her claims to fame, the one she said is most special is “Dick Clark was my chemistry partner at Davis High School.”

Dick Clark may have become more famous, but Sarah Brooks wears the crown.

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