SEASON’S GREETINGS: OAPO Christmas dinner a fun evening for Williams Lake seniors

Dot Unrau and Doris Neuert sell 50/50 tickets during the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Dot Unrau and Doris Neuert sell 50/50 tickets during the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Leyann and Danny Allan dressed for the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Leyann and Danny Allan dressed for the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Gladys Paulson and Sharon Leak wore their Christmas earrings for the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Gladys Paulson and Sharon Leak wore their Christmas earrings for the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Jack Pinchbeck, left, gets a coffee refill from server Eveline English. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Jack Pinchbeck, left, gets a coffee refill from server Eveline English. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Jack and Tina Derksen were smiling even though their table was the last to be served food during the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Jack and Tina Derksen were smiling even though their table was the last to be served food during the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
CJ’s Southwestern Grill servers Falin Durrant, left, and Caitlin Sellars were mixing up a salad for the OAPO Christmas dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)CJ’s Southwestern Grill servers Falin Durrant, left, and Caitlin Sellars were mixing up a salad for the OAPO Christmas dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Guests enjoyed a buffet meal prepared by CJ’s Southwestern Grill. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Guests enjoyed a buffet meal prepared by CJ’s Southwestern Grill. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Alex Wasylenko poses for a photograph with Glenda Winger, Seniors Activity Centre manager and emcee for the evening. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Alex Wasylenko poses for a photograph with Glenda Winger, Seniors Activity Centre manager and emcee for the evening. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Charlotte Eversfield, left, and Gwen Daschel are good friends. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Charlotte Eversfield, left, and Gwen Daschel are good friends. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
LeRae Haynes and the Ukelele Connection prepare to play music while people enjoy their food at the OAPO Christmas Dinner held Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Seniors’ Activity Centre. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)LeRae Haynes and the Ukelele Connection prepare to play music while people enjoy their food at the OAPO Christmas Dinner held Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Seniors’ Activity Centre. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Evan Jensen, (from left back row), Karen Rogers, Samuel Colp, Sue Correia, Barb Flach, Maureen McLaren, LeRae Haynes, and ParkerBarbie Testawich, front row left, and Audrey Dye, shared their talents at the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Evan Jensen, (from left back row), Karen Rogers, Samuel Colp, Sue Correia, Barb Flach, Maureen McLaren, LeRae Haynes, and ParkerBarbie Testawich, front row left, and Audrey Dye, shared their talents at the OAPO Christmas Dinner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Around 100 people in Williams Lake enjoyed a Christmas dinner hosted by the Old Age Pensioners Organization at the Seniors’ Activity Centre on Saturday, Nov. 26.

“Everyone was happy and full of food,” said OAPO president Tina Derksen.

Dinner was served buffet style at 6 p.m. by CJ’s Southwestern Grill and included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, salads, vegetarian lasagna and pies for dessert.

Tickets for the dinner were numbered so each guest was entered for the gift draw.

“We had about 35 gifts,” Derksen said. “We parcel them all up in wrapping paper and do draws.”

During dinner LeRae Haynes and the Ukelele Connection played music and after the meal led a sing-along.

Haynes had forwarded song sheets with all the lyrics for everyone.

Derksen said after the musicians finished, some of the dinner guests applauded loudly and asked for an encore.

Seniors Activity Centre manager Glenda Winger was the MC for the evening.

Chiding the seniors she said while the doors opened at 5 p.m., most of them had arrived at 4 p.m.

“You were worried you wouldn’t get a seat, but we had enough for everyone,” she said.

Derksen praised CJ’s for the food, noting Cathy Rossingol and her staff did an absolute wonderful job.

“They bent over backwards to give us a great evening,” she added.

There is a 100-seating capacity at the activity centre and the event sold out in advance.

When a few people cancelled because they weren’t feeling well, people on the waiting list were able to step in, Derksen said.

Danny Allan attended the dinner with his wife Leyann and said the food is always good.

“There are fantastic volunteers around here,” he added.

When asked for a Christmas memory he recalled getting his dad’s work sock filled with nuts and candies.

As a child he always tried to sneak downstairs to see if he could see Santa but never could.

One time, however, his dad and a buddy got into a few beer and set up an electric train Allan was getting and began playing with it.

“They didn’t realize the train hooted and that woke me up. They got busted.”

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