Annual Chester Senior Christmas Dinner feeds 150;
Hospital volunteers raise funds for oncology equipment

Area senior citizens gather on Saturday, Dec. 10 for the annual Chester Senior Christmas Dinner. Photos by Pat Budnick.

Area senior citizens gather on Saturday, Dec. 10 for the annual Chester Senior Christmas Dinner. Photos by Pat Budnick.

The annual Senior Christmas Dinner, held at noon on Saturday Dec. 10 at Chester-Andover Elementary School, attracted more than 90 diners from the Chester region, according to Pat Budnick of Motel in the Meadow, who organized this year’s event.

Organizers of the dinner, which has been held for at least 40 years, also delivered at least 50 meals to those who couldn’t make it to the school, said Budnick, adding that that was the most home-deliveries the event has ever done.

From left, Ken Barrett, Nonie Spaulding, George and Cheryl Cook and Ruthie Douglas.

From left, Ken Barrett, Nonie Spaulding, George and Cheryl Cook and Ruthie Douglas.

To bring the event together, volunteers donated all the food, then 11 turkeys and desserts were prepared and cooked at restaurants and homes in the region. Black River Produce donated the vegetables, which were prepared at the school as were the dinner rolls, which were made by Derek Suursoo.

On Saturday morning, everything was brought together at the school cafeteria, where even more more dishes were cooked, carved, assembled and served.

Four of the original organizers of the dinner were also recognized for their contributions: George and Cheryl Cook, Nonie Spaulding and Ruthie Douglas, as was Ken Barrett, who began volunteering just a few years after the dinners began.

The Interact Club with Santa Claus.

The Interact Club with Santa Claus.

And longtime emcee Brian Waldo was brought in by Facetime from the Springfield Rehabilitation Center.

Those who either donated money, food and/or helped to cooked or donated time:

Jack Carroll; Derek Suursoo; Ken Barrett; Tom Anderson; Shirley Barrett; Bill Lindsay; Nancy Lindsay; Georgia Ethier; Sandy Vincent; Carla Rumrill; Asta Spafford; Agnes Barnes; Marie Wade; Judy Cenate; Jayne Slicke; the Rev. Susan Moody; the Rev. David Armstrong; Debbie Armstrong; the ladies from Andover Church; Chris Meyer; Lonnie Lisai; Chester Townscape; Country Girl Diner; Free Range Restaurant; Heritage Deli; Tina Smith; Doug Smith; Tina Bixby; Sheryl Fratino; Green Mountain Union High Interact Club; Black River Produce; Chester-Andover Elementary School and Phoenix Books Misty Valley.

Springfield Hospital volunteers raise $6,000 for oncology unit


From left, Ruby Pinders, Arlene Pearson and Barbara Bye.

Hearts of Hope, a project of the volunteers at Springfield Hospital, raised $6,180 toward the purchase of items for the support and comfort of patients at Springfield Hospital’s Oncology Clinic, the most ever raised in this decades-old holiday tradition.

The campaign is a way to honor a loved one or friend who is currently affected by cancer or who has experienced cancer in the past.  For a contribution of $10 or more, a personalized, hand-made ornament is placed on a holiday tree at Springfield Hospital.

On Dec. 6, a tree dedication ceremony was held in the hospital cafeteria.  In addition to a light meal, the evening’s program included a performance by the Springfield Community Chorus. Attendees sang carols and the clinic staff read the names of the people who had been honored or remembered.

This year’s Hearts of Hope committee included Ruby Pinders, Barbara Bye and Arlene Pearson.

Sandy Peplau, director of Volunteer Services at Springfield Hospital, was the chairperson. Ornament making was a family affair, with Sandy Peplau and her nieces Christiana Bedard and Brenda Buswell creating 280 of them to give to the donors.  On behalf of its oncology patients, Springfield Hospital thanks the organizers and donors of this year’s Hearts of Hope project.

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