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COA hosts a holly, jolly holiday party

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By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

We’re reminded, especially during the holiday season, that each day is a gift.

It is true, though, that some days feel a little more special than others.

For members of the Westwood community, the Westwood Council on Aging (COA) director, Lina Arena-DeRosa, ensures that these special days occur at least once a month at the COA, where parties are hosted for the seniors to enjoy.

Joanne Peterson, Jeanne Giblin, and Pat Horgan celebrate being on the ‘nice’ list with a photo with Santa at the COA holiday party.

Joanne Peterson, Jeanne Giblin, and Pat Horgan celebrate being on the ‘nice’ list with a photo with Santa at the COA holiday party.

This month’s holiday party featured a ravioli and steak tip luncheon, glitzy Christmas and Hanukkah decorations, a visit from Santa Claus, and of course, lots of good cheer among the seniors.

As the seniors reacquainted themselves with other guests and chatted with friends about their upcoming holiday plans, Nancy Hurrell set a festive mood as she played Christmas carols on the harp, while Santa visited each table.

Another special visit came from Nurse Mary, the COA’s former public health nurse. Sporting an elf hat, a festive shirt, and red slippers decorated with Santa buckles and bells, Mary fluttered from table to table, reconnecting with former patients and friends.

COA director Lina Arena-DeRosa joins Senator Mike Rush and Representative Paul McMurtry for a photo with Santa at the annual COA holiday luncheon.

COA director Lina Arena-DeRosa joins Senator Mike Rush and Representative Paul McMurtry for a photo with Santa at the annual COA holiday luncheon.

“I got to know a lot of the people here, and now I try to come back as much as I can for the parties,” said Mary, admitting Lina’s parties were always a huge hit among the seniors. “I always try to wear the craziest thing I can find. It gives them more to talk about. And for a lot of people, this is their holiday, so it’s really nice to come back and see everyone all dressed up and happy.”

Thankfully, due to the COA’s great efforts, and with help from their sponsors and community partners, the holiday party was nothing short of amazing.

“We always have a lot of fun,” said one of the partygoers, sitting with a group of girlfriends and enjoying a plate of steak tips and salad. “It’s just a nice chance to get together.”

Like every year at the COA’s holiday luncheon, Selectman Mike Walsh gave each of the seniors a Hershey Kiss tree, handmade by his mother.

However, as they left the party with treats in hand, Lina’s warm wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year proved to be the sweetest.

Carol Bruce celebrates the holiday luncheon with the COA’s van drivers, Paul Kelly, John Demling III, and John Trigilio.

Carol Bruce celebrates the holiday luncheon with the COA’s van drivers, Paul Kelly, John Demling III, and John Trigilio.

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