Good Company and a Hot Lunch by Joyce Rhyne

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Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 20 Feb 14 - 0 Comments

Service with a smile - Left to right: Kay Middleton, Helen Hardcastle, Juanita Poole, Pat Ekstrom, and Susie Onishi. This friendly group of Service Club members has been serving Tuesday lunches since 2004.

Tuesday Senior Lunches Marks Ten Year Anniversary

When the Port O’Connor Community Center was in the planning stages, one of the goals was to have a place for seniors and youth groups to meet, free of charge, according to Community Center Board member Marie Hawes. The meeting room in the rear of the Center was utilized for youth and other club meetings, but it wasn’t until ten years ago when Marie was president of the Port O’Connor Service Club, that everything came together to form the Tuesday Senior Lunches.

It was February 17, 2004, when the first Tuesday Lunch was served. And since then, the same group of Service Club members have been volunteering to set up, serve, keep account of, and clean up after these weekly gatherings. There are others who help also, but this same group of ladies have faithfully shown up to help all these years. Regularly serving the food are Kay Middleton, Helen Hardcastle, Juanita Poole, Pat Ekstrom, and Susie Onishi. Pat Turk has been the greeter and records keeper since the beginning.

For many years the food provided by the Senior Citizens Center in Port Lavaca has been delivered by Juaniece Madden, a Member of the Board of Calhoun County Senior Citizens, and her husband, Lewis. Recently, others from the Port Lavaca Center have begun donating their time for delivery.

Many of the local seniors enjoy getting together, visiting and sharing a meal, and are often joined by temporary visitors, especially our “winter Texans”. There are usually 35 to 45 present at each gathering.

There is a sense of community in the group. Often you will find someone bringing fruit, vegetables or pastries to share. And there is always a table of donated books for anyone to take to read and return, or keep themselves or give to a friend.

Before offering the blessing for the meal, Doyle Adams makes announcements of upcoming events and status reports concerning neighbors who are ill or in the hospital.

Once each month the group is joined by Nancy Wyant of Girling Home Health, who gives a short talk on a subject of interest to seniors. Melissa from Angels Health Care joins them once per month and Mary takes blood pressure readings for those who would like them.

After lunch there is Bingo for those who like to play. The cost is 50 cents per card and the money is used to buy Bingo prizes. Twice a month, Gidget Reynolds of Port Lavaca Nursing and Rehab brings Bingo prizes and calls the Bingo game, but Pat Ekstrom is the regular caller, with Susie Onishi as “echo”. The prizes consist mostly of food-stuffs and household products.

Any senior in Port O’Connor is welcomed to participate in these weekly gatherings at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays in the Port O’Connor Community Center. These tasty, hot lunches only costs $3 for seniors ($5 for those under 60).

For Seadrift residents, lunch is served on Wednesdays at 11:30 in the Fellowship Hall of First Methodist Church. The Heritage Center at 2104 W. Austin in Port Lavaca is open for lunch weekdays from 11:30 until 12:30. You will always find the lunch menu printed on page 2 of the Dolphin Talk.

Pat Turk (right front), assisted by Wanda Lewis (right back), greet and sign in lunch-goers. Left front: Bonnie Banc, “winter Texan” from Colorado, and in the background, locals Marjorie and David Hawes.

Evelyn Kitchens fills in as server when needed.

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