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Westwood COA celebrates Valentine’s Day

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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

Every year, it’s the same: Valentine's Day comes around and couples wrangle with the best way to celebrate. For visitors at the Westwood Council on Aging, though, there was an easy option: the annual Valentine’s Day party. The Patricia Carty-Larkin Senior Center has become famous for its festive holiday celebrations, and this year’s Valentine's Day soirée on February 12 was no different.

Seniors came ready to party. Taking a seat at tables, attendees formed a sea of red, a few even wearing Valentine's Day themed shirts and sweaters. “I got the wrong color!” joked a guest wearing a blue shirt. At each place setting sat a red back-scratcher, along with Valentine’s-themed goodie bags.

Senior attendees were surprised to find out that pizza was on the menu for the party. “I wasn't expecting it, but that actually makes me really happy,” said Mary Masiello. Guests were able to pick a couple slices of cheese, margarita, veggie or pepperoni.

Mr and Mrs Rustrian danced to the tunes of Elvis Presley during the party.

Mr and Mrs Rustrian danced to the tunes of Elvis Presley during the party.

As guests munched on their pizza, an Elvis impersonator was keeping everyone entertained by singing some of the singer’s most popular tunes. Attendees were captivated by covers of “Good Luck Charm,” “I Got Lucky,” “Fever,” and a plethora of other familiar songs.

It wouldn't be a Westwood Council on Aging party without a raffle, though. Sure enough, two large stuffed bears and two soft blankets were up for grabs for the winners. “1238?” called out one of the chosen announcers.

“Oh, that's me!” shouted Anne Provost. She picked out one of the bears, and squeezed it tightly. By coincidence, the next winner of the raffle was sitting right next to her. Kay Griffin was just as excited about her win and picked the other bear. Elvis got in on the celebration after the raffle.

“To the people who won the big teddy bears, I dedicate this to you!” he said, before breaking into a rendition of “Teddy Bear.”

The song brought those in attendance onto the dance floor, with couples popping out of their seats to move to some of their favorite tunes. The entire crowd began clapping and grooving to the music, now much more energetic than they had been while eating lunch. Before finishing his set, Elvis sang the classic “Can't Help Falling in Love,” providing one last slow-dance opportunity before everyone headed home.

As per usual, the Westwood Council on Aging put on a festive, fun holiday celebration. With love in the air, pizza for lunch, and a bit of Elvis to tie it all together, everyone seemed to leave with warmth in their hearts.

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