Service with a smile!

Fifth graders make Thanksgiving special for seniors

By Patty Unruh

Students from Gilpin County School served a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on November 20 to thirty-five senior citizens from the Gilpin Community Center’s senior program.

Students from Ms. Lutes’ and Ms. MacKenzie’s fifth grade classes kept busy escorting their guests from the front door to the old gym where the dinner was held, taking coats, refreshing water glasses, bringing tempting pumpkin pie, and clearing away empty plates. They did it all with cheerful smiles and solicitous attention.

“Would you like cream in your coffee, ma’am?” “More pie, sir?” “Would you like to hear a joke I just made up?”

The young wait staff included James Immordino, Alex Rodriguez, Destiny Garcia, Sydney Deleon, Keston Billman, Grace Peeples, Lexi Sollon, Andi Finning, and Matthew Hockley.

The middle school choir, under the direction of Gary Haarbye, provided dinner entertainment with two beautiful songs.

The efforts of many helped to make the event a special one. Jane Yerkman and her kitchen staff prepared a sumptuous feast of turkey and ham with all the trimmings. Jane, along with Lisa Kennedy, Addy King, Jen Hylton, and Arlene Garcia, rushed around the kitchen making sure that there was enough sweet potatoes and green bean casserole to go around. District secretary Michelle Herrera-Welch kept track of beverages and supervised the student servers. Custodians Ron Berg and Ken Nadeau helped with set-up and take-down.

All the seniors agreed that the food was “absolutely delicious.” The group laughed, visited, and expressed thanks for a variety of blessings as they shared the meal.

Elenore Andersen noted, “I’m thankful that the weather is finally warming up.”

Pat Stewart was grateful that her husband’s cancer was in remission. “Our grown-up children will be with us for the holiday,” she added.

“My arm is healing,” said a relieved Joseph Hill.

Judy Hudspeth was looking forward to spending time with her daughter and son-in-law and to going to the Elks for Thanksgiving dinner.

Doug Rumsey had an ambitious project planned – making breakfast burritos to give away to one hundred lucky recipients.

“We’re so thankful for good friends and good health,” commented Keith and Gloria Larsen, who were also reflecting on forty-four years of marriage.

Jerry Baker was grateful for a simple blessing: “life.”

Following the meal, thanks were expressed by several people. Choir director Haarbye stated, “It’s an honor and a pleasure to entertain you. Thanks for being here to support the school.”

Superintendent David MacKenzie concluded the special event by expressing how great it was to have all the seniors at the school. He introduced Elementary Principal Scott Eldred and School Board member Steve Boulter.

Boulter issued a special invitation to the seniors to take advantage of the school’s “Gold Cards,” which provide free admission to home sporting, arts, and theater events.

Beth McChesney, a member of the senior group, talked the choir into leading everyone in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to everyone present who had a November birthday. She said, “It’s been wonderful to be here. Everyone has treated us great.”

Group member Bob Masslich, who has made arrangements with the school for the dinner several times, asserted, “It gets better every year.”

Good food, good friends, and good fun – indeed, it doesn’t get any better than this.

The senior program at the Gilpin Community Center is directed by Mary Ellen Makosky. It’s for folks ages 60+ and provides fellowship and a variety of fun activities. For more details, contact Mary Ellen at 303-582-5444.



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