Seniors ring in the new year

Seniors dance at the New Year's Eve Lunchtime Celebration at Bella Vida Tuesday morning. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Seniors at Bella Vida welcomed the new decade with the senior center’s “Roaring ’20s”’-themed celebration Tuesday, as seniors dressed in ’20s attire and danced to rock ’n’ roll. 

“We are starting a whole new decade and new year at our beautiful Bella Vida (senior center) site,” said Robin Clough, director of volunteers and recreation at the Bella Vida senior center. “What better way to kick it off than with a celebration.” 

To provide an early alternative to waiting until the ball drops later Tuesday night, the center held an early drop at noon. 

“This event allowed us to celebrate the new year during the day because we do not stay up too late,” said Dot Toral, a guest at the event. 

When the ball dropped, seniors were provided sparkling cider to both celebrate and coincide with the theme of the ’20s — as that was also part of the Prohibition Era, Clough said.

Seniors were invited to participate in a dancing activity, as two seniors led a group in doing the Charleston, a popular dance of the day among “flappers,” a slang term used to describe young adult women in that era. The rock ’n’ roll band Tess and Friends, a fan favorite at the center, also performed. 

“Tess is one of my top volunteers,” said Clough. “She’s got an incredible voice, and the crowd just loves them.” 

Upon entering the ballroom, seniors could take photos in the photo booth with different holiday-themed props. Guests were seen taking serious, happy and silly photos with their friends and significant others. 

Volunteers organized by Clough helped execute and run the event. Caryn Cohan Bates, a volunteer at the center, welcomed guests into the ballroom as she dressed the part with an elaborate headpiece and mask decorated in sequins and feathers. 

“I like giving back to the community,” said Cohan-Bates. “I am a senior myself and I know that there’s a lot of people do not have the network that I am fortunate to have so I’d like to provide them with as much joy as my husband and I can.”

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