Several dozen senior citizens were treated to an early holiday celebration on Friday night, Dec. 6, staged at the United Methodist Church in Escalon.
Hosted by the Sunrise Rotary Club of Escalon, the festivities also featured donations from several other churches, organizations and private parties to help add to the holiday atmosphere.
Officials said the goal is to provide a fun, festive celebration to help usher in the holiday season for local seniors, bringing them together for an evening of camaraderie.
Committee workers helping cook and serve dinner were John and Claudia Weeks, Lynda Stagno, Reggie Pomicpic, Duane Lovett, Jordon Freitas and Diane Alcorn, along with additional Sunrise Rotary members.
Gary and Linda Romano proved the entertainment while volunteers Marlin and Cindy Moreno were also on hand waiting tables, pouring coffee, and doing dishes, among other tasks.
Donors providing for the night ranged from the Escalon Methodist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church to Oak Valley Bank, Cromwell & Ney Insurance, Rite Aid and more.
The seniors were first treated to a dinner of lasagna, salad and bread, with cookies for dessert. They could also take home another dinner if desired. Transportation was provided for those seniors that couldn’t get to the church themselves. Many of those attending live in the Heritage House or Paddack Manor senior complexes. Also attending – and wished a happy birthday at the dinner – was local resident Casey Den Ouden, who admitted to being “70-something.”
Following dinner, Duane Lovett led the group in singing several Christmas carols, interspersed with drawings for free raffle prizes. Each senior in attendance also received a take home bag full of items, including a calendar, some toiletries, healthy snacks and more.
One of those in attendance was Jetty Hartgrove, a spry 99, who was one of the raffle prize winners and said she was enjoying the socializing, food and unexpected gifts.
Rotary Club member Dave Mantooth said the club was grateful for the community contributions and looks forward to continuing the holiday tradition for seniors in the years to come.