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Ameristar serves up Christmas joy to Gilpin seniors  

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Seniors Ameristar serving Ana Buckman-Hart and other seniors

Casino employees give seniors a holiday treat

By David Josselyn

The Gilpin County Seniors meet regularly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at the Gilpin Community Center to share a meal and fellowship. Senior Program Coordinator, Mary Ellen Makosky and her finely tuned, well-trained aides, Katy Emmert and Dave Nemec, will gallantly plate and serve a balanced, nutritious, and delicious lunch for county seniors. Funding from Volunteers of America allows seniors to pay a $2.50 donation for the wonderful service with a smile. However, on December 8, 2014, the day was far from regular. On this day, Ameristar Casino provided the food and the service for their fifth annual Gilpin Senior Holiday Meal and all for free. The annual meal has such a great reputation that attendance has grown steadily each year. Sixty-seven people were served during this year’s feast. Some seniors, who would not go to the regular lunch, make certain their calendar is open for the Ameristar lunch. Even former senior-aides will crawl out of the woodwork to attend this event. The employees from Ameristar joyfully filled plates with turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, beans, rolls, and tossed salad. As long as they did not eat too much, pumpkin pie and sugar-free apple pie rounded out the meal with dessert. Smiles, laughter, and great conversations created a cacophony of joyful noise in the community room. Near the end of the meal, Mary Ellen Makosky got the attention of the diners to say thank you to Ameristar, but she choked up as she informed the group that the Ameristar volunteers were truly volunteering their time today just for this event. The day would not be complete without a song, so Judy Hain led the group in singing We Wish You Merry Christmas for the Ameristar volunteers to show their appreciation.

Senior lunch at the Gilpin Community Center is just scratching the surface of what is available to seniors in the area. Mary Ellen and her team work hard every day to give the seniors opportunities for shopping, medical transports, and many field trips. Thanks to generous donations from Ameristar and others in the community, special lunches, health checks, and fitness classes are available at no cost. If you missed this year’s Ameristar Holiday lunch, go ahead and write down on your 2015 calendar to keep a day free, but in the meantime, check out what the Gilpin County Senior program has to offer. The Makosky Crew will take good care of you.

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