"Senior Moments" | One Woman's Mission to Bring Seniors Together in Her Hometown

by Linda Delano, Woodstock, Virginia

For as long as I can remember, I have been active in the local church. My interest within the church is primarily in music. Since my husband, Jeff, and I moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia I had been struggling to find my niche. Church choir is terrific, but there was a creative side of me that was dying to escape. Spotlight on my 93 year old father, widowed for the past four years after sixty years of marriage to my mother and his best friend. He is still very active for his age, but I realized that none of the activities within the church were geared just for him. Additionally, I started counting the number of widowed and/or single seniors in the church, and "Senior Moments" was born.

My goal was to provide a casual time of food and fellowship during the day when our seniors felt comfortable driving and to offer transportation for those who don't drive. I pitched the idea to our Pastor, who is always on board with anything resembling food. Our first "Senior Moment" was in March, with a BBQ luncheon and Irish sing-a-long songs lead by yours truly and assisted by some of my friends in the choir. Since many of our seniors have difficulty balancing food and drink plates (who doesn't?) we greeted, seated and served them their meals. You would have thought they were at a five-star restaurant! Twenty-three senior church members had a rousing good time eating, talking and singing! Did I mention that the whole thing was FREE to the seniors? Once I "talked it up," several church members came forward with donations.

In May, we held our second "Senior Moments" luncheon, this time with country ham, au gratin potatoes, country style green beans, rolls and peach cobbler with soft ice cream!

The menu was the easy part, it was getting quality entertainment without a budget that proved tough. I had heard a wonderful barbershop quartet, "The Blarney Brothers" on YouTube. Only one tiny challenge – the guys live about seventy miles south of us and they command a fairly hefty fee for one half hour. I was able to talk down the price by offering a reduced fee plus a meal. This time we had thirty-three members in attendance, and the "Blarney Brothers" were awesome.

The comments from the seniors were, "What are you going to do next?" and "How are you going to top that?" As a result of this luncheon, we have now received additional donations from church members and will have our own line item in the budget for next year. Who knew that having "Senior Moments" could be so good?
(Author's note: This article came at the urging of my good friend and your WWN Founder, Barbara Gurtner. I wrote it with the hope that it will be an encouragement to any of you who want to try something new. GO FOR IT!)

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