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Among friends

By Jennifer Peryam - jperyam@h-ponline.com

Over 100 Huntington County Council on Aging senior citizens enjoyed a visit by Santa, a Christmas meal and music performed on a keyboard Tuesday.

The organization held its annual Christmas party hosted by Miller’s Merry Manor, Huntington. Kitchen staff cooked and served ham, pineapple, sweet potatoes, corn casserole and peppermint ice cream and angel food cake for the senior citizens. Coffee and lemonade also was available.

Gary Bishop, Huntington, played songs on his keyboard such as “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.” The dining room was decorated with a Christmas tree. Holiday wreathes and tables were colored with red tablecloths.

Dick Murray, Huntington County Council on Aging assistant director, said there were 125 seniors who attended the event.

“This starts off the Christmas season and this is the only meal they may have because they don’t have families around,” Murray said.

The Senior Center provides Bingo and line dancing classes at Central Christian Church.

Natalie McConnell, Miller’s Merry Manor administrator, said the business is honored to host the meal.

“I think it’s good to give back to the seniors who participate in our community and our building and get them together,” McConnell said.

She said she hopes the seniors leave with a good impression of Miller’s Merry Manor and what they are able to provide.

Charlie Denton, 79, and his girlfriend, Zouie Whitacre, 86, enjoyed the meal with other seniors.

“I play Bingo and work on the senior bulletin at the senior center advertising events,” Whitacre said.

She said she likes to go to the senior center and interact with other senior citizens.

She thanked Miller’s Merry Manor for putting the meal on.

Ken Hippensteel, 76, said he likes to go to the meals the council on aging offer and is in the line dance group.

“This meal keeps us off the streets and out of trouble,” Hippensteel joked.

He said he likes Christmas carols and will see his grandchildren and family for Christmas.

Stacey Galo, Miller’s Merry Manor activity director, said the meal is a good outreach opportunity.

“It is good we provide this service so they have a nice holiday party. We hope they come away with a full belly,” Galo said.