Lena Living Center hosts first winter ball

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 10:25 PM CST
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LENA, Ill. (WIFR) - Just because they are seniors doesn’t mean they can’t have a ball.

The Lena Living Center has been open since the 1970s but what happened Thursday evening was the first event of its kind: a winter ball. And more than two dozen residents attended the event.

The center plans activities throughout the week for its guests to stay busy and Thursday’s winter ball was no exception.

“I was really surprised. It was a wonderful surprise,” says attendee Bonnie Guthrie. “It was the first one so I wanted to be here and it was lots of fun.”

Guthrie says going to the dance at the living center brings back fond memories.

“The very last dance that I went to. It was going to be my future husband. But at the time I didn’t know that.”

Mike Vandeberg has lived in the center for six months. He’s thrilled to see living center residents get in the holiday spirit.

“It’s kind of nice knowing that living center residents nice Christmas experience,” says Vandeberg. “It’s very important to bring them together because they probably miss their families and being able to spend Christmas with them.”

Freeport dress shop Twice as Nice Consignments donated more than two dozen sport coats, shirts, ties and dresses for people to wear. People also volunteered to do their hair and make-up for the occasion. One woman cut her hours short behind the chair to help guests look their finest.

“They don’t get to get out. If they’re going to do something fun for them here, then I think we should all be able to come and help a little bit. Let them have a good time,” says volunteer Kathy Eanes.

“The fact that our community can step in, not just Lena. We went to every town and we have had a great turnout with everyone helping,” says Activities Director Cortney Kurtz.

“They’re very experienced and they’re kind and it just gives you a good feeling when you’re in a good place,” says Guthrie.

More than 60 people currently stay at the Lena Living Center. Residents got the chance to take part in other holiday activities like seeing holiday lights around Lena.

Those who attended the ball got to hear carolers, play holiday-themed games and dance.