Over 200 seniors celebrated an early Thanksgiving Thursday in New Rochelle.
Held at the Hugh A. Doyle Senior Center, the free luncheon was sponsored by the Office for the Aging and The City of New Rochelle.
The celebration saw 220 guests anxiously awaiting a delicious meal catered by Hubbard’s Cupboard. The festive decorations, window paintings and holiday-colored table cloths displayed the traditional Thanksgiving Day setting.
Seniors from all over the Westchester area attended, some accompanied by friends and spouses. Many made it clear that this was not the first time they had attended this event.
“I come here every Thanksgiving,” said Karol Somers. “Every year my lunch is very good!”
Somers sat at a table surrounded by many men and women who were in continuous conversation.
The luncheon is an event that has been running every year for as long as workers and volunteers can remember.
"As long as I've been here this program has been running, so at least 37 years," said Site Manager Fran Campisi.
Mayor Noam Bramson and other New Rochelle city workers joined forces to serve the Thanksgiving lunch and all of its fixings. The first part of the menu included a bowl of fruit and some juice. Following the first course, seniors, workers and other volunteers joined in a group prayer said by Office for the Aging Executive Director Phillis Maucieri.
The main course was a plate of turkey, stuffing, carrots, string beans and other traditional Thanksgiving goodies.
This was the third luncheon at which Kema Alston, a city worker, had helped out.
"Volunteering at this Thanksgiving luncheon is a way for me to give back to the community and to the seniors of the city of New Rochelle," Alston said.
Maucieri said that this is the biggest event for the Senior Center when it comes to attendance.
"As soon as the date is announced, the spots get filled up," she said. “We always have a large number of seniors who want to attend.”
While guests were enjoying their meals, many smiles and laughs were being spread throughout the room.
“A lot of these people don’t have family or a place to go for the holidays. This luncheon provides them with their Thanksgiving Day meal,” said Maucieri.
Coffee, tea and dessert was served directly following the main course. Other volunteers included students from Blessed Sacrament St. Gabriel High School, who assisted with cleanup and the distributing
As the seniors started to leave, they expressed how satisfied they were with their meal, the organization of the event and the hard work put into preparing and distributing of the meal.
The Hugh A. Doyle Senior Center will be hosting other holiday events for the seniors. For more information on these events, call 914-235-2363.