Around Town

Open house offers a time to be thankful

WESTFIELD-While city residents will be nestled in their homes on Christmas, Westfield’s police, fire and first responders will be on duty keeping everyone safe.

On Christmas Eve morning, the Westfield Senior Center will be the site for an informal open house gathering for residents to drop in and say thank you to members of the police and fire departments who are scheduled to work on Christmas Eve.

Executive Director Tina Gorman noted she has invited representatives of the police and fire departments to stop by during the 8:30 – 10 a.m. event.

“Chief Lawrence Valliere was very enthusiastic when he received our invitation and said the police department will be represented,” said Gorman, adding Chief Patrick Egloff of the fire department will also have deputies attending the festivities.

“We have hosted this event annually for several years,” said Tina Gorman, executive director, Westfield Council on Aging, noting the gathering was first conceived for seniors who either had no family or no family living in the area.

Gorman added that since the open house’s inception, participation has increased and last year, more than 50 older adults stopped in.

Marion Dunk and Chip Arnold, known as The Keepers, will be the featured entertainment on the morning of Dec. 24 at the Westfield Senior Center. (Submitted photo)

“Over the years it has evolved into a holiday celebration of each other,” she said. “It gives our Senior Center ‘regulars’ a chance to wish each other a Merry Christmas and spend quality time together.”

As part of the festivities, The Keepers, featuring the acoustic duo of Marion Dunk and Chip Arnold, will perform.

“We will be playing some Christmas music, popular tunes, as well as a traditional hymn or two,” said Dunk. “We enjoy playing for senior center events because the folks there are so appreciative.”

Of course, a celebration wouldn’t be complete without tasty treats and complementary fruit, muffins, danish, coffee, tea and juice will be offered as attendees mingle and perhaps even make new friends.

“For those who have not seen our three one-of-a-kind Christmas trees dedicated to Westfield’s veterans, police, and firefighters, this is a marvelous opportunity to view these works of art,” said Gorman.

Gorman added that the trees, created by Marion Kraus and Barbara Wojick, are “most appreciated” by those who take the time to look at them up close.

The tree for the Westfield Fire Department is located in the balcony overlooking the foyer, the tree for the Westfield Police Department is in the Fireside Lounge near the Senior Safety Office, and the tree for veterans is on the Great Room stage.

“Christmas Eve is a time for all of us at the Westfield Senior Center, staff and participants alike, to share our appreciation for one another in a comfortable and friendly setting,” said Gorman. “We also want to thank those in the community who work so hard to keep us safe.”

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