Dec. 19, 2008 — Members of St. Thomas and St. John's senior centers offered up the gift of song Friday and received it in return in Franklin D. Roosevelt V.I. Veterans Memorial Park on St. Thomas.
Department of Human Services staff, senior center members and the general public enjoyed performances of serenades, quadrille dancing, pantomime and jazz Friday from a variety of local groups and well-known local singer Lorna Freeman-Dennis.
This is the first time the event has been held in the park, according to Monife Stout, public relations officer for the department.
About 80 seniors from three of the four senior centers on St. Thomas and St. John performed in the DHS Therapeutic Recreation program's final fling for 2008. Seniors from Project Strive, located in the Knud Hansen Complex, as well as from Anna's Retreat Senior Center on St. Thomas and St. Ursula's Senior Center on St. John were amongst the headliners for Christmas in the Park.
The stage, erected Thursday by DHS staff, was positioned perfectly under the shade of a giant aged tree that has been in the park probably since many of the performers' youths.
Two preschools, Curious George Day Care and the Handy Spandy Day Care Center, performed songs for the audience.
Both Lockhart Elementary and the Mungo Niles adult quadrille dancers showed off their steps to quelbe music. In one of the day's highlights, the Mungo Niles dancers invited the audience to join in the quadrille.
Senior DHS staff also attended the festivities, including Commissioner Chris Finch, Assistant Commissioner Michal Rhymer-Charles and Assistant Administrator of Senior Citizen Affairs Eva Williams.
The therapeutic recreation program was implemented in June 2008 and offers recreational and experiential activities that assist the elderly in maintaining optimal health.
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