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By James Ensor
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
In need of a tropical getaway on this muggy Wednesday morning, Westwood’s Council on Aging staged a Luau-themed lunch for the members of the senior community. The price of entry? Attendees had to drape a Hawaiian lei garland around their necks.
The event featured a solo-performing artist playing festive music on steel drums - fitting for an event that appeared to be a resort escape right in the center of Westwood. Window shades were replaced with brightly colored floral décor, as were the tablecloths on which the attendees enjoyed genuine Hawaiian cuisine.
Beautiful Hawaiian chicken and rice, a variety of baked vegetables and, for the grand finale, a pineapple upside-down cake were all catered by Hessco’s nutrition services. People came from all across town to either help make this event possible and everyone was excited to share good stories over good food. For many seniors, this was the first event they had attended at the Council on Aging, and all seemed impressed with both the musical talent and attention to detail on display.
Westwood’s Maryjo Hood, an active participant in the day, has thrown herself into efforts at the Senior Center and the Westwood Garden Club. Her hope was to see more coverage of senior events in the future, as she believed attendance would greatly increase if only more word were out there.
Guests also received the added benefits of free sunglasses, bags of candy, and (for a lucky few) raffle prize mugs with $10 Dunkin’ Donuts gift certificates inside. According to an associate with Dedham Savings named Ashley, the bank will donate the gift baskets and she and other employees enjoy helping set up and served the food.
Maintaining the peace at this laid back Luau was Sgt. Saleda of the Westwood police. He had no trouble with the crowd on this day, saying that he always enjoys the Council on Aging’s popular events.