Nov. 26, 2002 – Thanksgiving came two days early at the place on St. John where caring for seniors is an everyday event. A little music, good food and good company made the annual luncheon a special occasion.
This was the 17th year that the St. Ursula Multipurpose Center put on a pre-Thanksgiving luncheon for center regulars joined by seniors from the East End and folks who are served by the Meals on Wheels food delivery program. "Some of them you don't see here on a regular basis because they are shut in," center director Clarence Scipio said.
About 65 seniors filled the tables in the church's first floor community room on Tuesday, to be served plates of roast turkey with trimmings by members of the Charlotte Amalie High School Interact Club. Students also provided some of the musical entertainment, as did a local quelbe band that played a set of cultural tunes, including a rendition of "God Bless America" on banjo and harmonica.
The luncheon also was an occasion for organizers to thank some of the people who help preserve the quality of life for Virgin Islanders in their golden years. Most of the workers at the center are with the Human Services Department. The honorees were:
– Cheryl Shulterbrandt Plaskett, an administrator in the Senior Affairs Office, helps coordinate the efforts of home service providers. She was honored for her volunteer work to bring the first National Senior Pageant to the territory.
The current Ms. V.I. American Classic, Ruth de Gout Smith, was on hand to pay tribute to Shulterbrandt-Plaskett. De Gout Smith said it was an honor well deserved. "My director for the pageant was being honored, and I came down to support her," she said.
– Joan Thomas, a native St. Johnian whose career in the V.I. government includes service to the island administrator and the Public Safety Department and as St. John representative on the Casino Control Commission.
– Florinell Joseph, program supervisor for the Human Service nutrition program serving the elderly.
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