W.Va. seniors treated to Easter dinner

April 18, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |

RANSON, W.Va. — About 275 Jefferson County seniors came together this weekend to enjoy Easter dinner, a social event that occurs every year because of the caring attitudes of  30 people they don't even know.

The event takes place every spring at the Anna Mae Reedy Senior Center at 103 W. Fifth Ave. Most of those who volunteer to cook and serve the meals are employees of the nearby Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. Even the casino's executive chef pitches in.

They do it every Easter and Thanksgiving. Holiday meals for homebound seniors who can't get to the center aren't left out either. Meals are delivered to them.

Senior center employees also help out with the event.

"We do this every year," said Amy Wellman, executive director of the Jefferson County Council on Aging, which runs the senior center. "It helps us celebrate the spring season."

Casino employees prepare about 80 hot meals that center workers deliver daily to homebound seniors Monday through Friday at no cost to the center. Center employees also deliver hot meals to about 35 seniors Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Bolivar Community Center and another 20 or so at the Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co. on Tuesday and Thursday, Wellman said.

"This way they can get at least one hot meal," she said.

Menus for meals served at the center and those delivered to homes or served in Bolivar and the fire hall are the same, whether they're cooked in the center's kitchen or in the casino's. "We give them our menu," Wellman said.

The Council on Aging has 110 full- and part-time employees, including about 70 on the homemaking staff, who assist seniors who can't leave home. The Council on Aging also provides transportation for seniors for medical appointments, shopping and other needs, Wellman said.

Enjoying their Easter dinner this weekend were senior center members Phil and Joann Viands of Ranson. Sitting across the table from them were Harold and Betty Jones of Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

"The center is good for a lot of people," Viands said. "It helps get them out of the house."

He mentioned one elderly woman who rarely left her house until she started to come to the center.

"Now she really gets involved," he said.

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