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Rotary celebrates its 25th annual senior dinner

December 15, 2010
Local students and organizations helped to make the 25th Reverend Ray Wixon Memorial Gilford Senior Citizen Dinner Holiday Celebration, sponsored by the Gilford Rotary Club, special this year.

Over 150 guests enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, sides such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, squash, and later, homemade desserts all served at the Gilford Community Church's fellowship hall.

Community Service co-chair of the Gilford Rotary Club Wendy Barrett, a coordinator of the annual dinner for a number of years, said that the club continues on a tradition set by the late Reverend Ray Wixon.

"Wixon's premise was that seniors are the backbone of the community and have given so much. This dinner is a time to give back to them," said Barrett. "It's a thank you celebration more so than a charity."

While funds from the Rotary Club and much planning makes the senior dinner possible, members said that many organizations make the event possible including Patrick's Pub who caters the event, Taylor Rental, Steve Smith and Associates, Inc., the GCC, and the Gilford High School Interact Club, who all contributed in some way whether with gifts or donations.

This year Gilford Daisies, Brownies, and Girl Scout troops, along with the GHS chorus in the later hours, provided entertainment for senior citizens enjoying their dinners by singing joyful Christmas carols and holiday tunes throughout the night.

Barrett said the Rotary and GHS senior volunteers have served up to 200 guests during the dinner, which in the past has been held at the old GHS facility, in the elementary school, and at Meadowbrook.

After Scout troops sang a few carols at the opening of the event, Girl Scouts handed out their homemade ornaments, snowman heads, and other hand crafted holiday gifts to the special guests of the evening.

While Interact Club high school senior helped prep, serve, and clean up after the dinner, as they do every year, the GHS choir donated their time to the event as well, serving as the prime entertainment for the night along with GHS chorus director Denise Sanborn.

A high school exchange student from Germany, 17-year-old Hendrick Lindemann, currently attending GHS and staying with a Rotary member, also volunteered to help to set up, serve, and clean up after the event.

Senior citizens got another surprise at the end of the dinner a visit from Santa Claus and his wife Mrs. Claus, who greeted guests at their tables.

Rotary members also served as the kitchen crew for the night including Rick Moses, Spencer Martin, Chandler Jones, Don Clarke, Larry Ruthier, Mike Warmington, Chris Ray, and Dick Waite, who worked up a sweat in the kitchen.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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