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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Tables were decorated with pineapples and palm trees, beach balls rested on bookshelves, there were flamingoes painted on the windows and everyone was wearing leis at the Westwood Senior Center’s fourth annual summer beach party.
But it was the steel drumming of Toby Tobas and the fresh food provided by a local memory clinic that really had the crowd excited.
Tobas mixed the bongo drum and the steel drum throughout the day, exciting the crowd with a variety of songs that took people a little while to recognize. And while the food at these events is always good, the summer beach party’s menu had been specially prepared by Barry Joress using a variety of homegrown and locally purchased ingredients.
“We’ve supported the Westwood Senior Center for the past five years, and we look forward to supporting them in the future,” Jeross explained. “They’re a local town to us, we enjoy doing it, and we think the seniors enjoy it, as well. We had homemade clam chowder that was made from scratch, our pasta salad and coleslaw were also made from scratch. The chicken was made in-house. We have two gardens out back that we draw from. We have a local CSA we pick up from. We’re proud of the food we serve.”
With beach weather heading to the area on the weekend, making sure the seniors would be okay in the heat was mentioned throughout, while never diminishing the fun. Selectman Michael Walsh spoke to the crowd about how much he enjoyed helping. “I’m always happy to come here and help serve the food,” he said. “I call it public service at it’s best.”
But Selectman Walsh begged the crowd to stay hydrated in the heat by drinking water. “Not that you can’t drink something else too,” he joked, “but make sure you drink water.”
After the food was served, there was a raffle for a purse with a gift card inside, and a box of chocolate that came with a gift card, as well. Picking the raffle winner was Mary Jane McGill, who Lina Arena-DeRosa joked “is from Westwood - so if you don’t win and you see her at the grocery store, you can yell at her.”
With dangerous heat approaching New England, the Westwood Senior Center brought a beach party indoors with steel drums, fresh food and a whole lot of fun.