By Larry Kidder | Senior Wellness Program members enjoy food, friendship, and fun during the 2018 Valentine's Potluck, held on Friday, February 9. For more photos, scroll down.
Long before the formal Senior Wellness Program organized in 2005, Loma Linda University Drayson Center seniors were already gathering for the annual Valentine’s Potluck.
“They’ve been getting together for more than 20 years,” says Bess Getman, events manager and Senior Wellness Program coordinator.
The 2018 Valentine’s Potluck ranks high on the list of all-time successful senior social events held at Drayson Center. More than 80 seniors attended, bringing with them a smorgasbord of delectable dishes. Drinks and desserts were provided by Drayson’s Senior Wellness Program.
Organized by the Senior Advisory and Planning Committee (SAPC), the program featured The Blues Agave, with Armando Valencia doing vocals and keyboard, and Steve Coyazo backing him up on electric guitar. The duo shared a number of familiar songs from a variety of eras that added to the Valentine’s atmosphere.
William Wright, EdD, served as master of ceremonies, tying together the various parts of the program with commentary and introductions. Those in attendance took part in an opportunity drawing for six gifts, as well as the centerpieces custom-designed by SAPC members.
Gift boxes with sweet treats were provided for each guest by Linda Valley Assisted Living. Veronica Ramos and Rose Menos came by to hand them out.
However, an impromptu performance by James Ho served as a highlight of the day. His wife, Christine, volunteered him to sing “the only non-religious song he knows.”
The Blues Agave duo was happy to accompany him with a rendition of “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” written and performed by Hank Williams in 1952. Ho shared the Elvis Presley version, though he could have also chosen to sing in the style of Ray Charles, Fats Domino, or Patsy Cline.
“The food and entertainment this year were outstanding,” Getman suggests. “Everybody seemed to have an amazing time.”
The cooks outdid themselves, and—thankfully—none of the Valentine's Potluck attendees seemed at risk of going hungry.
Dr. William Wright (left) leads out in the opportunity drawing. Assisting him is Bess Getman (right), Senior Wellness Program coordinator and events manager.
This table may have gotten a bit rowdy—or maybe not. Either way, they were clearly enjoying themselves.
The Blues Agave—with Armando Valencia doing vocals and keyboard, and Steve Coyazo backing him up on electric guitar—performed a number of Valentine's favorites from a variety of eras.
Pat Campbell, a charter member of the Senior Advisory and Planning Committee (SAPC), keeps an eye on the dessert table, with goodies provided by Drayson Center's Senior Wellness Program.
James Ho gives an impromptu performance of Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart" for the crowd. His wife, Christine, volunteered his talents to the group, saying that the song "is the only non-religious song he knows."
Christine Ho enjoys her husband's rendition of "Your Cheatin' Heart" performed in the style of Elvis Presley, knowing that he is singing for her and not about her. The couple has enjoyed a long and happy marriage.