Seniors treated to Thanksgiving lunch

Published 10:42 am Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Several senior citizens around the Camellia City received an early appetizer for the coming holidays Saturday morning, thanks to the Butler County Concerned Citizens organization.

More than 50 people were treated to ham, dressing, mac and cheese, an assortment of desserts and more in the inaugural Pre-Thanksgiving Senior Luncheon, held at College Street Church of Christ.

Tammie Rice, event coordinator and co-chairperson of the Butler County Concerned Citizens elderly committee, said that she was tasked with spearheading the luncheon due to her experiences planning similar events for her church’s various programs.

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But Saturday’s target demographic was a little different from the usual fare, she said.

“I realized that so many elderly people might not have family coming home for them,” Rice said.

“So they sit at home and maybe eat a Thanksgiving meal alone, or may not even have a Thanksgiving dinner. So that’s why we decided to come together with the goal of bringing them a Thanksgiving dinner with friends.”

Thanks to what Rice calls her signature “persistence,” she was able to make several phone calls and offer an encouraging word or two to participants who otherwise might be too reluctant to attend.

And, based on the feedback she received in person at Saturday’s luncheon, her persistence paid off.

“A lot of them are seeing people here that they haven’t seen in a long time,” Rice said.

“A lot of times elderly people—especially those who aren’t able to go to church or get out and about—may not have an opportunity to see other people.  If you’re homebound, you just don’t have that chance.”

Energized by the turnout and reception of Saturday’s event, Rice said that she is excited for the opportunity to plan more holiday-themed luncheons for the community’s senior citizens. The Thanksgiving luncheon took two months to plan, which leaves little wiggle room for a Christmas luncheon next month. But Rice remains hopeful.

“Seeing how this has turned out, I’m ready to go for it,” Rice said.

“When I saw these people this morning, [planning a Christmas event] is the first thing that came to my mind. I am looking forward to it, but I’ve got to go back to the committee and see what they say.  But it would be great.”