Holiday party at Senior Center kicks off the season | Senior Outlook | Dec. 4

Now that you’ve opened the belt a few more notches to accommodate the Thanksgiving feast, it’s time to turn your thoughts to winter solstice activities: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and any others I may have missed. No need to dread the pre-holiday stress of gift shopping and food fixing though. You can always take a break and relieve the pressure by kicking up your heels and unwinding at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Senior Center’s annual holiday party.

How does this popular event – and BISCC’s many other social activities – come into being? Who is behind the planning and scheduling? Who does all the work that makes it happen? Who cleans up afterwards? Look no further than the indomitable BISCC Social Committee under the direction of Delores Bissell.

The committee developed as an off-shoot of the senior center’s Well-Being Committee, recognizing that socializing and having fun are important components of a healthy life-style. Members in addition to Delores Bussell are: Mavis Blackwell, Mary Hallett, Teresa Hatten, Margot Jacobs, Jane Kowalski, Peggy McCoy, Genevieve Moyer, Mary Nelson, Diana Peters, Nancy Rekow, Joan Schmeige, Norma Smith and Sudi Storey. Meetings are at 10 a.m. in the Kalgren Room the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Everyone on the committee pitches in and each has their individual specialties. For example: Norma Smith has catering experience so is comfortable with preparing the main dish for a large crowd with other members supplying side dishes; Margo Jacobs is famed for her home-made cookies and can be depended upon to keep them in good supply; Diana Peters designs eye-catching posters to advertise events and Nancy Rekow creates artistic flower arrangements for the parties. Mary Hallett and Joan Schmeige are charter members and play a large part in keeping things running smoothly at events, ably assisted by all of the other committee members.

In addition to the regulars, there are non-members who can always be called on to assist with special functions. Ruth Flanagan volunteers to do flyers and Sheila and Bob Leik create magical decorations. Members of the softball team help the social committee in getting the decorations placed to create just the right atmosphere. Even the party attendees get into the act after a party is done, helping to take down and store tables and chairs.

The social committee generally does three or four parties a year, often tied to a seasonal or holiday theme. They also do two ice cream socials during the summer, pot-luck movie events during the year and work with the softball team to produce a BBQ potluck dinner. Coffee and cookies are provided by the committee for other senior center meetings as well. You may think reading this that they have a full plate of responsibilities already, yet the committee says it is always open to new ideas.

High on their list of things to do this month is the BISCC winter holiday party from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 18 in the Commons. Put it on your list, too. There will be food provided by our unstoppable social committee, wonderful Sheila and Bob Leik decorations and live music by the ever popular Loren Petrie. Don’t miss it. This is the party that will put you in the mood to celebrate all month long.

Marcia Rudoff writes a monthly column for the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center.

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