GONZALES — A Valentine’s Day party was held Monday for Gonzales residents age 55 or older, hosted by Adventure Seeking Seniors.
The party drew an estimated attendance of 50 seniors, who gathered at St. Theodore’s Church Parish Hall for a lunch from Lucky Bamboo, socializing, card making, an information session from Pearl Dentistry and a drawing to win festive bags. The senior group hosts monthly lunches, with February having a Valentine’s theme.
“We usually have lunch and then we’re going to decorate some Valentine cookies that the high school culinary class baked for us, and we’ll make some valentine’s cards to take home,” said Mary Hoagland of Adventure Seeking Seniors.
“They’re good for us seniors, we need the socialization,” said Wilma Bassetti, who was born in and grew up in Gonzales. “People get together and it’s great for the seniors because there’s really nothing much for us here.”
The Feb. 10 event was also the one-year anniversary for Adventure Seeking Seniors.
“We started last year and our first party was February,” Hoagland said. “Originally when we came together, we were looking for something to do to serve our community. We noticed our seniors were ignored and that we needed them to feel that they’re loved and appreciated.”
Ten volunteers from Adventure Seeking Seniors worked with some high school student volunteers from the Youth Guardians to serve seniors and fill their drinks. Other volunteers joined to help after having heard about the event.
“Last year, at our first event, there were three volunteers and we had about 26 people,” Hoagland recalled.
This year’s 50 attendees was a noticeable increase, though Hoagland said they aimed for 100, since the Christmas party had seen 100 in attendance.
“I try to go to everything if I can, at least in town because I don’t drive out of Gonzales,” Bassetti said. “All these girls are doing great with these activities here. Thank you and keep it up.”
Due to using Measure K funds, Hoagland said that allowed the group to partner with Lucky Bamboo for the senior lunches.
In addition to providing “fellowship and fun” as Hoagland described, she said, “The other part I’m hoping is the city will realize there’s a huge population that needs more than once-a-month gatherings.”
Bassetti commented on the need for corner block boxes for mail, which would help her as a senior citizen, and an issue she’s concerned about.
“It’s getting harder for me to get to the post office now,” Bassetti said. “If we can’t get it door-to-door, it would be nice to have a box at each block.”
She described the system on the east side of town, where neighborhood blocks do have boxes.
“It’s going to be hard for me to drive. I only go about two to three times a week now,” Bassetti said.
Next month’s lunch is planned to be a St. Patrick’s Day event on March 9. Beyond that, Adventure Seeking Seniors is planning a Tea Party for May.