Thanksgiving reaches all ages in Patterson
by Maddy Houk
Nov 21, 2012 | 892 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Senior citizens and teenagers in Patterson had plenty to give thanks for this year at two turkey dinners served at the Hammon Senior Center on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Twelve members of Soroptimist International of Patterson served lunch to 41 seniors at 11:30 a.m., dishing up turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, rolls with butter, cranberries and cupcakes for dessert.

Later that day, the Center for Human Services-Teen Center took over the facility.

“It all went so smoothly,” said Gloria Satcher, Soroptimist president, on Monday, Nov. 19. “At the end of the lunch, the seniors gave us a rousing applause and a thank-you. We’re all hoping the seniors were happy.”

Lena Dumont was happy and still satisfied by the Soroptimist meal when the Center for Human Services hosted the Patterson Teen Center’s fourth annual Thanksgiving dinner at the senior center later that afternoon.

“I am just so stuffed from lunch, I’m not going to eat,” Dumont said as she sat with a table of chatting seniors while Christmas music played in the background.

A registration sheet showed 119 people signing in for the evening meal.

Youths who patronize the teen center began the tradition of a Thanksgiving dinner four years ago. In 2011, they decided it would be nice to include seniors, as well.

Laura Elkinton, program coordinator for the Center for Human Services, which runs the Patterson Teen Center across the street from the Hammon complex in the True Value shopping center, said having the seniors and teens together was a success.

Gifts of time and money also poured in from the greater community.

“We got donations from all corners of the county,” said Kate Trompetter, marketing manager for the Center for Human Services.

Volunteer Sheree Lustgarten, who helps the Center for Human Services as a member of the Westside Champions — a local group of people who support the Center for Human Services — helped decorate the center for the dinner a day after having knee surgery.

“I am so happy to do things for our children and families,” Lustgarten said.

Frank Terrazas, who visits the senior center regularly, said the event was an opportunity to mingle with the rest of the community.

“I attend the activities at the center, and I wanted to participate with the Patterson crowd,” Terrazas said. “My family is all in San Jose, and I’m going to be out of town for the holiday, so I’m celebrating a little early.”

Twelve-year-old Terrell La Beauf, one of 30 middle- and high-schoolers who regularly go to the center after school, said the dinner was a great event.

“This is a good thing, because some people haven’t had a Thanksgiving before, and they come here to have turkey,” Terrell said.

Travale Roberson, also 12, enjoyed the chance to see some new faces.

“It’s a good way to meet other people that you don’t know.” Travale said. “It’s fun, and you make new friends.”

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or

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