Seniors celebrate the season

Santa’s still older

OBSERVER Photos by Diane Chodan Marie Emke is pictured with Santa.

BROCTON — Banks of melting snow weren’t exactly “White Christmas” weather, but inside the J.W. Dill Post 434 of the American Legion, all was “merry and bright” for the Brocton/Portland Senior Citizens Christmas buffet. Members of the group, dressed in their Christmas finery, were ready for a good time and were not disappointed.

The committee for the celebration included Robin and Dan Carr, Rita Bennett, Tom DeJoe and Sheila Lawrence. Cheese, crackers, pepperoni and punch were first served. The meal main meal, catered by the Bark Grill in Westfield, featured a choice of chicken or pork, along with mashed potatoes and gravy, glazed carrots, green salad, fresh fruit salad, and a choice of cakes. A plate of Cookies and muffins was set on each table.

Santa Claus was an honored guest. He distributed fruit baskets to each member who found a picture of a wreath inside his or her napkin. Lucky members were Liz Stahlman, Jane Penhollow, Marie Emke, Wendy Black, Jane Perkins, Ella Gaffney, Genevieve Ludemann, Sue Schrantz, David Van Rensselaer, and Patty Ploetz. Ruth Neal won the door prize of a baking mix.

In turn, Robin Carr presented Santa with a plate of homemade cookies.

Thomas Gestwicki provided entertainment for the group. Gestwicki, a guitar instructor at SUNY Fredonia, led the group in Christmas carols. His performance was interspersed with jokes and tidbits of information. He informed that group that the popular carol “Silent Night” was originally written for guitar and that the words to the popular “Silver Bells” were written by Ray Evans, a lyricist who was born in Salamanca, NY.

David Van Rensselaer received a gift, but politely declined to sit on Santa's lap.

After finishing his program, Gestwicki hugged Robin Carr who had asked him to perform. Both decided he would return next year.

Liz Stahlman has a serious conversation with Mr. Claus.