Over 750 seniors treated at Rotary Club of Kingston’s Christmas treat
It was a joyous day for over 750 elderly Jamaicans who were transported from various senior citizen homes in Kingston to be feted and entertained for eight hours at the annual Rotary Club of Kingston’s Senior Citizen Christmas Treat held earlier this month at the Douglas Orane Auditorium at the Wolmer’s Boys’ High School.
Over 20 companies contributed cash or kind to hosting the event.
In addition to being served a meal, the special guests were handed gifts of clothing, food, toiletries and blankets.
When the infectious music rang out from the Akindele Sounds, the Bethel Steel Band and Errol Lee of the Bare Essentials Band, many of the senior citizens jumped to their feet and danced with all the energy they could muster.
They also sang lustily in the singalong segment. The fashion show as a treat in itself when the seniors took to the runway to showcase their modelling styles in outfits contributed by members of the Rotary Club of Kingston.
According to Linval Freeman, President of the Rotary Club of Kingston, “the event took quite a bit of planning and coordination with the administrative staff of the various homes, especially regarding the pick-up and delivery of each special guest.”
Many of the senior citizens jumped to their feet and danced with all the energy they could muster.
Freeman said a number of the senior citizens have contributed to nation building, but have received little or no recognition from the society and – in some cases - from their families.
“It is our hope that the annual treat adds a ray of sunshine to their lives, especially during the festive season. As a nation, and as family members, we must remind ourselves daily of the sacrifices the seniors in our society have made so that our lives could be better. In return, therefore, family members should show appreciation and be there for them, while as a nation, we must demand that policies are implemented to protect the elderly, thereby demonstrating our sense of responsibility as a people”, Freeman said.
The club president noted that the major project could not have been the success it was without the support of Corporate Jamaica. “To have over 20 companies donating ash or kind to this event is remarkable and very grateful to them,”. Freeman said.
He also thanked the 35 members of the Rotary Club of Kingston; 50 interactors from high school clubs that are operated by the Rotary Club of Kingston and 10 members of the Rotaract Club of Kingston for their ‘service above self’ for the entire day, in demonstration of the Rotary motto.
“In addition to giving of their time, members of the Rotary Club of Kingston also donated cash towards the project,” Freeman noted.
The senior citizens came from such places as Government Poor Relief institutions; Saint Patrick’s Foundation; Golden Age/Retirement homes; St. Margaret's Human Resource Centre; Christ the Redeemer Human Resource Centre; Saint Patrick's Roman Catholic Church; Saint Monica's Home for the Elderly; Riverton City Human Resource Centre; Pretoria Road United Church; K.S.A.M.C. Poor Relief Department and Denham Town Golden Age Home.