A one-day delay did not diminish the spirits of the nearly 100 seniors in attendance at the Newtown Senior Center Annual Holiday Party, Wednesday, December 11, at Capellaro’s Grove in Bethel. Originally scheduled for the previous day, wintry weather caused a postponement of the festivities.
“We are so appreciative of Capellaro’s,” said Marilyn Place, Senior Center director. “They were able to accommodate the change for us, so we didn’t have to cancel.” Of the 106 tickets sold for the event, nearly all of the ticket holders were also able to tweak plans and arrived at Capellaro’s full of holiday spirit, and ready to dance and dine.
Additionally, said Ms Place, she was thrilled to have been able to find a DJ for the event on one day’s notice. “Our original DJ had another event today, so couldn’t make it. We found Big Daddy, and are so happy,” she said.
Sean “Big Daddy” McKee is with James Daniel Entertainment out of Stamford, and said he was ready to play a little holiday music, some line dancing tunes “and anything they want. It’s all about making people smile. That’s what I do,” he said.
As partygoers streamed in for the 11 am to 3 pm event, many paused to buy 50/50 raffle tickets and chances to win one of several gift baskets or a Christmas afghan blanket, visiting with Mary Ann Posser, who was selling tickets.
Clusters of old and new friends gathered around linen-topped tables, sipping drinks and nibbling on the selection of hot and cold appetizers set out on a buffet near a sparkling Christmas tree.
It was not long before Big Daddy’s music had the dancers in the crowd on the floor and showing off their fancy footwork. The less nimble eagerly followed Sherry Milek’s lead, who instructs dance at the Senior Center. It did not matter if it was the crooning of classic holiday tunes, the rambunctious songs of The Four Seasons, or a romantic melody, dancers found some reason to be out on the dance floor.
For many, the Senior Center Holiday Party is an annual event they never miss, while others at Wednesday’s party were celebrating with the membership for the first time. Members and guests alike agreed that it was a lovely event.
“We are having a good time today,” said Gloria Barry, as she visited with tablemates.
Dr Marietta Sondino is a new member of the Senior Center, she said, and was finding the day enjoyable. Newtown Social Services Director Anne Piccini stopped by to visit with Dr Sondino, before being embraced in a holiday greeting by Ms Place. For Ms Piccini and Ms Place, this year’s party marked 25 years of holiday celebrations with the Senior Center members.
Robert Macey paused from visiting to mention that he had been coming to the Holiday Party for years.
John Boccuzzi, Sr, Curt Symes, and Larry Schneider, members of the Newtown Commission on Aging, were at the party. The annual gathering is just one of many activities Newtown’s older citizens can enjoy, said Mr Symes.
Waitstaff delivered mixed green salads to each table, and the main courses of chicken Marsala, pork tenderloin, grilled salmon, and pasta were ready to be served. But first, a seasonal greeting to all was in order.
Thanking Capellaro’s for its flexibility in scheduling and the many seniors who rearranged schedules in order to attend the celebration, Ms Place began her yearly toast, saying, “May the season be rich with the laughter of friends.” Good wishes for balance and harmony, tenderness for the past, and a wish that spirits be light were among the cheers she offered, adding, “It is my wish that every cup may overflow with blessings.”
Glasses clinked and shouts of “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy Holidays!” filled the room.
“It’s a good turnout,” Ms Place said, “and we’re happy to see everybody.”