A 'noon' year celebration

December 31, 2005|By TIFFANY ARNOLD


Amid the noisemakers, tiaras and streamers, Karen Gish, the dietitian at Fahrney-Keedy Memorial Home, jumped each time a number was chanted as the "noon" year countdown drew to a close.

"Five, four, three, two, one ... happy noon year!" Gish proclaimed, along with the others in the memorial home's dining room on Friday at noon.

Yes, that's Happy "Noon" Year - not Happy New Year, said Michelle Morris, Fahrney-Keedy's activities director.

Fahrney-Keedy, which serves about 200 senior citizens, held its New Year's celebration a little early. Administrator Robert Lytle said the party was held at noon because many of the home's residents probably would be asleep during the real countdown.

They did it Friday because of staff schedules, Lytle said.

"I guess we're a day ahead," Lytle said in his speech, just before the countdown started. "It's midnight somewhere in the world."


The 70 residents who attended had a lunch of pizza and green beans, with fruit-topped cheesecake for dessert.

Lytle said Fahrney-Keedy has had New Year's Eve celebrations in the past, but said it was the first time they had such an elaborate event. It also was the first time they had a "noon" year's celebration, he said.

As noon approached, servers dressed in white bustled about the dining room, filling plastic champagne glasses with sparkling grape juice and cider.

Staff members blew noisemakers and passed out streamers. Some were dancing in the aisles.

"I'm not sure who had more fun, the employees or the residents," Lytle said after the party.

When the countdown finished, Gish tore open a bag of balloons that she clenched in her fists. She tossed the balloons to each corner of the dining room. The residents seemed delighted by the spectacle.

After that, Karin Lytle, wife of Robert Lytle, played "If I Could Teach the World to Sing" on the keyboard.

Louis Emerick, a retired Methodist pastor, sat with his wife, Eleanor.

"We're getting an early start, which means we're getting a longer time to celebrate," Emerick said.

Emerick said the couple planned to spend the real New Year's Eve with his nephew's son, who is preparing a pork and sauerkraut dinner. But Emerick said they won't be out too late.

"Because Sunday's the Lord's day, so we'll be in the chapel for holy communion," he said.

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