NEESES – The glow did not just come from the Christmas lights in the décor but from the many well-dressed senior citizens gathered at the Seniors Recreation and Leisure Center on the evening of Dec. 12.

Sixty seniors and guests attended the Neeses Senior Christmas Gala, and they were dressed in their holiday best, including a lot of red and green. After an introduction, sermon and entertainment, those who attended had a steak dinner with twice-baked potatoes, salad and dessert.

Mayor Kenneth Gleaton did the welcome, and then Ladoska Miller sang a medley of Christmas carols.

Gleaton said, “These seniors really cleaned up well. You are looking good and looking sharp. Merry Christmas!”

He thanked Councilwoman Paula Hutchins, Councilwoman Renee Olenick, Town Clerk Sonja Gleaton, and others who helped with the food and décor.

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Retired Air Force Col. Reedy Hopkins cooked the steaks for the event and was thanked for his contribution by Gleaton. Hutchins prepared the sides, and others prepared the desserts.

“It’s been busy here all afternoon preparing for everything. I want to thank the seniors for all the meetings they have been attending as well,” Mayor Gleaton said.

John Atkins, a visiting minister, next spoke and shared the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus Christ and references to the story within several religious songs and even the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

Before his sermon, he told a joke about a little boy who was going to be in a Nativity play.

Atkins said the little boy named Adam said he was of German lineage and was asked what he was going to be in the play.

Without missing a beat, Atkins said Adam replied, “I’m going to be a German shepherd!”

The crowd chuckled at his joke and listened intently to his sermon afterward.

Atkins also played some religious songs on acoustic guitar and was joined by Mrs. Atkins.

Paula Hutchins, after the meal was served, said they had special plans and did not immediately reveal what the plans were.

In fact, everyone had brought a $5 gift to enter the event as they were told to do in advance. This hinted at what the special plans might be.

“We got somebody in the house, the Green Man. He is going to pass out the gifts,” Hutchins finally said.

The Grinch then suddenly appeared on cue and randomly passed out the gifts.

Hutchins said, “If you get the gift you brought, just let the Grinch know, and he’ll switch it for another one.”

Ladoska Miller concluded the evening with sing-along carols accompanied by Richard Gleaton on acoustic guitar.

The Neeses senior group has held themed luncheons almost monthly at the S.R.L.C. but during the day. For this special occasion, the meal was moved to the evening.

The next luncheon will be held Monday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at the Seniors Recreation and Leisure Center and is for Neeses residents aged 62 and above. Contact the Neeses Town Hall if you fit this category, but they are often booked up well in advance of the next luncheon.

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