Older Adults of Wadsworth enjoy holiday party

The party was hosted in the cafeteria of WHS. The adjourning YMCA had many decorations such as a Christmas tree, presents, and candy canes which were handed out to attendees. Photo by Lauren Ball

 Festive music, holiday decorations, and Christmas spirit were high at WHS’s cafeteria, when hundreds of senior citizens gathered for a Christmas breakfast and party. The Wadsworth Older Adults Foundation, Soprema Senior Center, Wadsworth City Schools, and Professional Friends collaborated to put on the event for members of the community.

“It took a community to make it happen,” said Lori Wikinson, director of the Soprema Senior Center.

This year’s Christmas party occurred for the first time in-person since 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, so for many of the seniors, this event was one they had been looking forward to for quite a while.

Wilkinson said that the hiatus caused by the pandemic meant even more holiday cheer and excitement among the seniors

“I’ve been planning these parties since 2009, and [the seniors] were more excited than I’ve ever seen them,” Wilkinson said.

Anyone 55 years of age or older were eligible to attend from Wadsworth or surrounding areas, resulting in roughly 200 in attendance at the party. Tammy Reddish, activity and volunteer coordinator at the Soprema Senior Center, noted that attendees ranged in age from mid-50s to the eldest at 99 years old, and a good time was had by all.

The event featured a holiday sing-a-long, game, and an opportunity for community members to have their picture taken with Santa. Following all of the festivities, one of Wadsworth High School show choirs, Rhythm in Red, performed a holiday concert for the seniors as a part of their holiday tour.

The event featured the opportunity for seniors to have their pictures taken with Santa. Santa and his helpers could be found near the Soprema Senior Center when guests entered before the party. Photo by Lauren Ball

“I’ve asked every time I’ve run into someone [from the party], ‘What was your favorite thing about the party?’ and the show choir was a favorite,” Wilkinson said.

Students from the Four Cities Compact Diversified Medical Technology program and members of Wadsworth’s Student Council were in attendance to help the event run smoothly. They helped set up the cafeteria with silverware and decorations, then served the adults when they arrived.

A variety of local restaurants donated pastries and other food items for the seniors to enjoy which were served in a family style manner. As they enjoyed their breakfast, a local musician, Laura Taylor, played holiday music and the adults were able to converse and feel the holiday spirit.

“I think for some of them, just all the different entities that helped plan it [was the best part]. It brought so much joy,” Wilkinson said. “For some people, their favorite part was just being together.”