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McPeak's Assisted Living Newsletter

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January 2014 Newsletter

By Linda Ohlsen, Recreation Director

December, the busiest yet most wonderful month of the year, was definitely enjoyed by all here at McPeak's.

Our holiday preparations began early as we set up our recreation room mantel with lots of white lights and artificial snow. This wintery backdrop was perfect for the beautiful mini Christmas trees artistically decorated by Elisabeth Sommers, John Rissland and Ellen McCormack. Also bringing Christmas spirit to our room were the gorgeous wreaths made by Tony Webb and Frances Skotko. Using bulky green yarn and bright red pompoms Tony, Antonia and several other guests created a Christmas display that brought many nice compliments from holiday visitors.

Be-ribboned Christmas ornaments lined our hallway thanks to the crafting talents of Phyllis Levy and Ruth Beal. Tiny Christmas trees woven with a red ribbon added a festive touch too and we thank Paul Trouve and Larry Judson for helping us make them.

We all worked together to get our lobby tree holiday ready. Antonia Levato, Alex Salmin and Millie Verderosa were among our very best popcorn stringers. Their talent with needle and thread was certainly put to good use as they helped us make the yards and yards of popcorn garlands needed for our tree.

Decorating the tree was a big project, but a fun one too, with guests gathering in our lobby to sing carols, enjoy eggnog and cookies and, of course, trim the tree. Tony Webb, Ruth Beal and Joe Gold were a big help, hanging on the many decorations made in recreation over the years, including our new white pom pom wreaths, which were made this year by Fran Skotko and Charlotte Hoffman. Tina Schillings led us all in the singing of "Silent Night" as we turned off the lights and admired the beauty of our fully decorated tree.

Our holiday party on the 13th was lovely, as always, with a wonderful buffet prepared by our cooks, Sue and Diana. Guests enjoyed a variety of sandwiches and salads, macaroni and cheese, lasagna and fresh shrimp. Champagne was served and used to toast one and all, while holiday music filled the hall due to the keyboard artistry of Freddie Prinz. Santa dropped by too, much to the delight of Lee Kulakowski and Robert Baumann. Santa's bag was filled with Christmas presents for all and each seemed to be a perfect match for the recipient.

Also fun this holiday season were the word games and reminiscing programs we joined. We had fun talking about Christmas preparations from years back. Evelyn Grasso and Elisabeth Sommers talked of the wonderful baked goods they would make and Tina Schillings spoke of the Christmas star she would place atop her tree, which was hand carved by her husband.

We found the many holiday songs played for us by our friend, Bob Shade, to be just lovely. Celia Wysocki and Bernadette Lawlor exhibited great Christmas spirit as they sang along to them all. Also in fine voice were Philip Cantone and Angela Hampson, who joined in the singing of Christmas carols led by Pastor Bonfiglio at his Christmas service here.

Rocco of Rockin' Robin had us just loving his one hour show, which featured both upbeat Christmas songs and music of the 40's and 50's. Rose Navatto was in fine voice, as were Alex Salmin and John Ritz. John, who was celebrating his birthday that day, was delighted with Rocco's lively version of the "Happy Birthday" song too. Joe Gold, Evelyn Grasso, Tina Schillings and Josephine Gross took the dance floor during the afternoon and had a great time
dancing with me and with one another.

We all enjoyed our holiday trivia games and the prizes we won by playing, noting that some made perfect Christmas gifts for family members. Alex Salmin was perhaps the biggest winner of the month when his ticket number was announced during our raffle for a beautiful afghan donated by Ellen McCormack's family.

Fran Zummo and Lois Martucci were pleased to receive so many kisses from our pet therapy dog, Dustin. Dustin certainly brought lots of cheer to all during his Christmas visit as he does throughout the year.

We tried to maintain our pre-holiday waistlines by lots of fun activities that kept us up and moving. Bill Jones, Joe Gold and Bobbie Smith certainly burned a few calories and had fun bowling. They also had our top scores for the month of December. Madeline Pedota is also a great bowler and enjoys our exercise programs too. She, along with Artie Johnson and Josephine Gross are great at our workouts and excel at our basketball toss.

Our New Year's Eve party ended our year on a perfect note. With our dining room decorated for the holiday, we put on our party hats and joined entertainer Tony Grant as he did our countdown to "midnight". We blew horns and used our noisemakers to usher in the New Year and enjoyed a sparkling cider toast to the year ahead. Tony's songs kept us filled with cheer as we sang along and made our way to the dance floor. Tony Webb, Philip Cantone, Tina Schillings and Alex Salmin showed off some fine footwork at our party, as did Bobbie Smith and Joe Gold.

Our last monthly bingo winner of the year was Phyllis Levy. Gilda Messina, Larry Judson and John Rissland scored well, but Phyllis' 68 wins just blew away the competition. Congratulations Phyllis!







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