New Rochelle seniors flocked to the Hugh A. Doyle Senior Center Monday for their annual Christmas tree trimming party.
“Some of the seniors who live alone don’t get a chance to put up their own tree,” said Phillis Maucieri, the center’s executive director. “This event allows them to experience the holidays.”
The center’s recreation room was decorated with window paintings and paper decorations. The tree stood in the middle of the room, twinkling with multicolored lights, waiting to be trimmed.
Seniors ranging from ages 60 to 100 helped trim the tree. As they worked, Christmas music played softly in the background. All ornaments were donations from current seniors and seniors throughout the years.
Jamie Cancel, one of the center’s most active and enthusiastic members, helped contribute to the festivities by caroling and dancing along to the music.
“I am a very happy person,” he said. “I like to share my happiness with people and enjoy their company.”
Marion Doriano, a current member at the senior center, said she was very excited about the tree trimming.
“I love going to these events,” she said. “I feel very at home here. This is a great event for people who don’t have a big family of their own to celebrate the holiday season.”
After the tree was decorated, seniors were invited to indulge in hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. Members were able to socialize and enjoy each other’s company during this holiday season.
Students from Blessed Sacrament St. Gabriel High School lent a helping hand in decorating the senior center. Sofia DiRusso and Jessalyn Rodriguez, both high school seniors, volunteered as a part of their senior year project of service.
“At first I viewed this project as an obligation,” said DiRusso. “But now I really enjoy it. Meeting all the people is a lot of fun!”
Alice Mergaro, arts and crafts specialist for the Center, made her rounds to each of the tables showing off her homemade gingerbread house. Her goal is to sell the houses and donate money to help victims of Hurricane Sandy,
“This event gives the seniors a sense of community,” said Recreation Supervisor Furlong. “It allows them to talk to people they might not talk to on a day-to-day basis.”