Celebrating Christmas with the Colley Senior Center

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 20, 2001

Features Editor

BY Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas unless people could get together with family and friends.

At the Colley Senior Complex, it’s hard to distinguish between family and friends, because friends seem like family, said Cleo Thompson, director of the nutrition program.

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"We have a wonderful time together and we are more like family than friends," Thompson said. "We all look forward to our annual Christmas luncheon. We have a large crowd of participants and also several special guests. It’s a great day and no one wants to miss it."

The Colley Senior Christmas covered-dish luncheon was held yesterday and the program consisted of the carols of Christmas and the reading of the Christmas story from Luke.

"We don’t plan a long program because we want everyone to have time to enjoy a time of fellowship," Thompson said.

For most of the participants, the luncheon was also a time of remembrance.

Thompson said last Christmas was one of the most memorable because she was able to give her grandsons a special gift that she never thought she would be able to give.

"Christopher and Manley (Davis) had wanted a four-wheeler for a long time and I wished I could give them one," Thompson said. "When I was at the Peanut Butter Festival with the Merry Hearts Clowns, the Zion Chapel Sports Boosters were taking donations for a drawing for a four-wheeler. I tried to help them out by ‘clowning around’ and getting people to make a dollar donation."

After asking others to donate, Thompson pitched in a dollar to the cause and never gave it another thought – not until she received a phone call telling her she had won.

"I’ll never forget the look on the boys’ faces when they saw that four-wheeler," Thompson said. "It made my Christmas."

One of Jean Boutwell’s favorite Christmas memories goes back to her childhood.

"I wanted a bicycle so bad, but my daddy couldn’t afford to get me one," she said. "He had been collecting money for a project at the church and was keeping the money in a cloth bag. Somehow he lost the bag of money and had to replace it with his own. So, times were very hard."

One day, little Jean was playing

house in a closet and found the bag of money.

"I went running to daddy squealing, ‘Daddy, now I can get a bicycle,’ and he got it for me,’ Boutwell said. "And, it was a good one. It lasted for 50 years."

That’s what being a member of the Colley Senior Complex is all about – friends sharing with each other, just like family.

"We serve 50 meals here at the center on a daily basis and deliver 70 meals to those who are sick or shut-in," Thompson said. "But, there is so much more to the center than meals. We have a wonderful outreach program that includes a homemaker who does cleaning at 20 homes for those who are unable to take on that responsibility. We also visit hospitals, nursing homes and those who are shut-in at home. This is a wonderful place, filled with wonderful people."

For more information about the Colley Senior Complex and its programs and activities call 808-8500.