Santa comes to Spring Arbor
Published 10:52 pm Tuesday, December 24, 2019
On Dec. 11, Spring Arbor Senior Living hosted their annual Christmas party for residents and their family and friends. While Santa came around to talk with the residents, they were able to enjoy a buffet of appetizers and desserts and listen to timeless holiday melodies performed by Angelo Sonnesso, president of GEM’s Meaningful Days.
Whitney Wright, who helped to organize and coordinate the event, said the turnout for their Christmas party last year was great and they were hoping for even more participation this year. “We had about 50 residents and their families come to last year’s party,” she said.
For this year’s event, the staff put together a delectable hors d’oeuvre table, full of mini cheesecakes, vegetable trays, sliders and a 7 Up punch. The residents ate an early dinner in order to prepare the dining room for that night’s gathering.
“We invited all the family members,” Wright said. “Santa will come to take pictures with the residents and family right out front near our tree.” This massive, brightly decorated tree stands in the lobby of Spring Arbor. Surrounded by hanging glass ornaments and presents underneath, this Christmas tree is a show-stopper.
Once the guests arrived to the dining hall of Spring Arbor, the festivities began. Angelo played Christmas classics on the piano while the residents and family members went to get food and drinks.
“It’s something different for us,” said Odetta Creech, a resident for about a year and a half. Her daughter lives on the Outer Banks and decided to have her mom be closer instead of in Winston-Salem. Creech said her daughter visits a few times a week. It was her second time attending the Christmas party.
Gail Sonnesso, executive director of GEM’s Meaningful Days, was there to support Angelo and her friends that stay at Spring Arbor. “This event is so great for everyone,” she said. Gail said she has seen a big transformation in some of the residents since they started living at Spring Arbor. “Some will get up and dance; they’ve never danced before,” she said.
During the party, staff had to bring in even more chairs and tables to accommodate the guests. “We had a great turnout,” Wright said afterward. “We’ll have to expand into the activity room next year.”
The Christmas party turned out to be a huge success. “With Santa Claus, that just made the whole party,” Wright said, “and the residents and family members really enjoyed it. It was really special.”