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By Robby McKittrick
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Thursday, October 18, the Council of Aging hosted its weekly luncheon for senior citizens at Pilgrim Church.
Around 25 members showed up to eat a nice meal, listen to music, and socialize with friends.
“Our whole mission is to engage the seniors in our community,” said director of the Council of Aging, Karen Juhl. “I think it’s a great opportunity for seniors to get out and have a meal.”
The lunch offers different types of presentations from week to week to bond the community, inform the seniors, and get them moving.
“We try to have educational programs [and] musical programs … [and] it brings the community together,” said the organizer for that week’s luncheon and Sherborn Elder Advocate Nurse, Nan Vaida. “The thing about seniors in our community is staying connected … The more they move, the healthier they are. So if I can get them to come, they are moving.”
The number of seniors who show up to a lunch can vary from 30 to 60 people every week from a variety of surrounding towns.
“We are a warm and welcoming environment,” said Juhl. “We have other seniors come from other towns because of the way we run our program.”
“[The seniors] love it,” added Vaida. “We are like their family members”
The luncheon had a variety of food, a presentation about voting information for the upcoming election, and music playing in the background.
After the seniors sat down and received their meal, the lunch’s speaker, Town Clerk Carol Marple, talked to them briefly about the upcoming election, when they can vote, and the different issues on the ballot.
“If you want to come and vote early, we will be very happy to see you,” said Marple.
The Council of Aging has hosted this event every Thursday from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. for at least 10 years. The speaker, the type of music, and the food varies from week to week.
“Sometimes we cook the food, sometimes we order the food, sometimes people cook for us,” said Vaida. “We have to keep it different.”
Specific events for the luncheon can range from a Harvest Fest to a holiday party to a veterans program. However, Juhl explained that they will often just let the seniors focus on socializing.
“We recently learned that seniors just want to come and talk, so we don’t have a program every single week,” Juhl said. “[We want the seniors to] come [and] bring [their] friends, talk to [their] friends, and have a good time.”
“Sometimes we just let them chat, because that’s what they really need,” added Vaida.
Vaida explained why the weekly luncheon event is significant to Sherborn.
“There is this constant tying together of the threads of the community from all generations,” she said. “It’s really important.”