As they have for the past few years, members of the Escalon Sunrise Rotary Club coordinated a festive holiday event for local senior citizens.
The gathering was staged at the Escalon United Methodist Church and featured food, gifts, music and fellowship for several dozen seniors. Rotary Club members helped with preparation and serving of the meal, as did church members, and the festivities were hosted on Friday evening, Dec. 5.
Rotary Club President Romy Damiles said he was very pleased with the turnout and was happy that they were able to provide gift bags for all those attending.
“This is our third year,” he said of putting on the event.
The idea behind the ‘Senior Christmas’ came from club member and past president Ray Caparros, who will be taking over as District Governor for Rotary District 5220 in 2017-18.
Damiles said it’s good to take care of the community’s seniors, some of whom may not have family in the area or just need a little extra care and compassion during the holiday season.
Gift bags included calendars for 2015 along with some warm socks, soaps, lotions and assorted other toiletries and small gifts.
“Anything we can do for our seniors,” Damiles said, smiling.
For Caparros, focusing on the older generation will be a focus of his governorship, he said, and he also wants to see the holiday effort here continue to grow. While it was hosted once again at Escalon United Methodist Church, Rotary members are hoping it grows big enough locally to eventually move to the city’s Community Center.
Transportation, if needed, is provided to and from the holiday event for the seniors and no one goes away hungry or empty handed. This year, the food table featured the traditional ham and plenty of side dishes, along with sweets for dessert. Musical entertainment was provided by a group out of Tracy, The Godfathers, a quartet that had some seniors clapping their hands and other kicking up their heels after they finished dinner.
“I love it,” Caparros said, watching the seniors enjoying the evening. “Hopefully it will get bigger and bigger.”
Escalon Sunrise Rotary is involved in a number of community service projects and also overseas efforts through Rotary International. The local group meets each Thursday, 6:45 a.m., at the Escalon High School cafeteria.