Eli Gooden has been a valued member of the Lonoke Community Center since it opened in June 2002. He comes to the center five days a week and when he comes, he lifts weights, walks, runs and helps the elderly upstairs. Eli was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004 and has said the community center has helped in regaining his strength.

When asked what he likes about the center, Eli said “I love the employees, everyone feels like family”.

He also said that whenever he asks center director Mike Brown to get something at the center, he always tries to make it happen. In addition Eli said he enjoys how clean the facility is.

According to Eli, if he could change anything at the Lonoke Community center, he said he would maybe expand the center and make it bigger, but other than that, he is very fortunate to have a place like it in Lonoke.