Volunteers and staff at the Bella Vida Senior Center donned their most festive, patriotic attire, decorating the center’s parking lot with red, white and blue to make this quarantined Fourth of July holiday memorable for seniors.
Though the center’s annual celebration was canceled due to stay-at-home restrictions, staff and volunteers still wanted to find a way to make the holiday special for seniors.
“This is more important than ever I think under these circumstances, and really gave us the opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate, though we were distanced, of course,” said Robin Clough, volunteer and recreation coordinator for the center. “The Fourth of July is just such an uplifting, fun time. We were not going to let it pass without celebrating.”
So, instead of the usual festivities, seniors were invited to join a “drive-thru celebration” to mark the holiday from the safety of their cars as the center held its daily lunchtime service.
Though distanced, seniors were able to join in on the Fourth of July march, as a stream of cars paraded through the Senior Center parking lot while maestro John Swinford performed favorite Fourth of July tunes on the grand piano that had been moved outside for the celebration. Seniors could be heard clapping and singing along.
While enjoying the festivities, seniors received their daily meals, along with special Bella Vida hot dogs.
“It was a huge success,” Clough added. “They were so happy and excited. I think it really enhanced their holiday, and they need that uplift right now. It meant a lot to everybody, (including) staff and volunteers, to do this.”
Through the pandemic, the center has provided more than 1,100 meals per day to seniors in the SCV via both its drive thru and home delivered meals programs.
For more information and to support the SCV Senior Center, visit scv-seniorcenter.org or call 661-259-9444.