(Publisher’s note: I apologize that this story did not post right after this luncheon on Dec. 21, but as many of you know, ChelseaUpdate was not functioning for the last few days because of a server problem.)
Both the weather outside, and the warmth inside, was feeling a lot like Christmas at the Chelsea Area Senior Center on Dec. 21 when almost 200 seniors enjoyed a special Christmas lunch.
The ham lunch, complete with yams and pumpkin pie, was topped off with whipped crème, Christmas carols – and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The special lunch was made possible through the support of both the Mitchell Family and the Chelsea School District.
The Mitchells have been sponsoring the event – which used to take place at night – since 1981.
“Chelsea’s unique because it takes care of its own and this is a way for our family to give back and say thanks,” said Michael Mitchell, “That’s what this season is all about.”
He remembers attending a senior center Christmas dinner when he was 11 years old. “It was kind of a family event and the crowds were huge,” Mitchell said.
And this year, despite the first snow of the season and whipping winds, it was a packed house for the festivities.
“I always enjoy coming to the Chelsea Senior Center around the holidays,” said State Rep. Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Twp., “It’s great to see all the fun and joy that the senior center provides.”
Chelsea Mayor Jason Lindauer said, “It took almost 4 minutes for Trinh (Pifer, executive director) to thank people for their support – that’s when you know you’ve got something special.”
He said the “things they do keep it vibrant, fun and interactive, this demonstrates how important the senior center is. It’s inspiring.”
Pifer told the crowd that membership in the center has topped the 700-member mark and that on average, the center has more than 1,600 visitors a month.
“Those numbers are amazing when you think that Chelsea has a population of 5,000,” Lindauer said.