A large group of seniors ate and danced to welcome in the new year at the Shelton Senior Center.
The party on the afternoon of Jan. 24, rescheduled from a few weeks earlier because of snow, featured a catered meal and dancing to live music by Vinnie Carr. Tables were decorated with colorful party hats and noise-makers.
“You can’t beat music by Vinnie Carr,” Joe Kalakay of Shelton said, just before getting up to dance with his wife, Dolores.
The Kalakays visit the senior center a few times a week, and especially like participating in the bingo games.
Carr, a keyboardist, accordion player and singer, is known for specializing in songs from the 1930s to early 1960s.
Celebrates 90th birthday
One Shelton senior having a particularly good time was Josephine Gerber, who also was celebrating her 90th birthday on the same day.
“It’s just a number,” a smiling Gerber said of the milestone.
Gerber, a widow who was born in England, is a member and volunteer at the Shelton Senior Center.
“I love dancing,” she said, recalling when she used to go to dances in London when young. She met her late husband when he was in England with the U.S. military.
Gerber’s family members had traveled from as far away as Texas to mark her birthday, and planned to take her out to dinner that night to mark the occasion.
Opportunity to socialize
Kathy Ramia, senior center director, said the center hosts social events such as the New Year’s party on certain holidays throughout the year.
“This is a way for them to get together with friends and welcome in the new year,” she said of the event, which attracted about 140 people.
David Grant Caterers of Shelton provided the meal, featuring prime rib and chicken scarpiello.
The center also hosts a group birthday celebration for members once a month.
“It’s a great way for them to socialize,” Ramia said. “Many of our members love to dance.”
‘These guys know how to party’
Doreen Laucella, the center’s bookkeeper, said the center’s members know how to have a good time.
“When you become a senior, you get put in a category of having gray hair and you’re not supposed to have fun anymore,” Laucella said. “But these guys know how to party.”
The Shelton Senior Center is open weekdays, offering many activities as well as a $3 hot meal for lunch. It has about 3,200 members.
The annual membership fee is $4 for Shelton residents.