Santa Clarita Valley seniors celebrated the holidays at the Bella Vida senior center Wednesday with a holiday sing-along and special appearance from Santa Claus.
“We want to celebrate all the holidays together and bring them to Bella Vida for lunchtime,” said Kevin MacDonald, executive director for the Bella Vida senior center. “It’s a time where everyone comes together to help the seniors.”
At the event, seniors were served a full-course lunch and enjoyed live entertainment.
UkeALadies, a collection of women from the Ladies Assistance League of Santa Clarita, played ukulele and guitar as they led the room in traditional Christmas carols. Each senior at the event was given a printout with lyrics to the carols, and were encouraged to participate. Others in the room could be seen dancing to the songs as they sang along.
“We have a lot of in-house talent,” said Robin Clough, director of volunteers and recreation at the SCV Senior Center.
The Forever Young Tappers, a tap dancing group from the center, performed at the celebration dressed as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, wearing light-up red noses.
Later in the event, Rocco Santa, a man dressed as Santa Claus, appeared at the event and handed out candy canes to the seniors. After his grand entrance, guests were able to take pictures with him.
Every year, Soroptimist International of Valencia provides raffle gifts for the seniors for their holiday celebration. According to Clough, the Soroptimists bring prizes to elevate the level of festivity.
With tickets in hand, the seniors anxiously waited to hear the numbers read from the raffle. Once the ticket was called, there would be silence until a senior eventually cheered once they realized they were called.
“We give raffle prizes every year to spread a little cheer with the seniors,” said Lisa West, volunteer from the Soroptimist International of Valencia. “It’s a fun thing we can do for the holiday as we dress like elves and just bring a little smile to their face.”