They were among 150 senior citizens who filled the center’s main room for the annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, which has became a tradition over the years.
Like a number of seniors at the luncheon, McKinney and Thornberry wore green St. Patrick’s Day headgear.
Asked if she is Irish, McKinney responded, “Yes, you bet I am.”
Her friend responded quickly, “I’m half Irish and half Portuguese. Today, we’re all 100 percent Irish.”
The luncheon, which in past years had relied on volunteers, this year was prepared and served entirely by the young staff of the city’s Parks and Community Services Department.
“This year, the staff agreed to put on the lunch for the seniors,” said Amanda Tavares, who is a senior center coordinator. “And we’re all having a good time doing it.”
The St. Patrick’s Day luncheon attracts about twice as many people as the regular lunches at the center, she said.
James Murray, one of the city staff members, was delivering plates of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots to seniors seated at long tables.
“We have people who come here at different times for exercise, bingo and classes, and today they’re all here for the lunch,” he said. “It’s really great to see them all here together.”
Over at the end of one table, Carolyn Taylor, Eleanor Miatovich and Virginia Rose were chatting as they finished their lunches.
“Having the young people from the city here to get this all together and serve the food for the St. Patrick’s Day lunch is special for us,” Taylor said with laugh. “They add a lot of life and energy, and we ‘old-timers’ need that.”
• Contact Sam Matthews at 835-3030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.