A select chorus of Walton elementary students will help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Walton Senior Dining Center on Tuesday.
The event will be held 11 a.m. at the St. John the Baptist Church on Benton Avenue. The suggested donation is $5 for seniors and $6 for non-seniors. The senior dining program is operated by Delaware Opportunities under contract with the Delaware County Office for the Aging.
The students, in second and third grade, under the direction of Townsend Elementary School music teacher Theresa Bolton, are favorites of the program, said senior dining assistant project director JoAnn DeWitt. The students are all local and some are grandchildren of those who use the service.
“It adds a lot of life to the site. They are so enthusiastic,” she said. And, they know they always get punch and cookies.
Bolton said about approximately 20 students will participate by singing six songs, giving them a chance to gain public performance experience. She has been doing this for about 15 years and found it an excellent way to provide the seniors with entertainment while letting them meet area youth. She looks forward to watching the students perform and “bringing joy to others,” she said. DeWitt said meals are generally served at the site five days a week, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The program also provides meals for the homebound in Walton, with one day a week deliveries in Downsville and Trout Creek. Last year it served 4,500 meals at the site and 9,700 to the homebound. During her 34 years with the program she has seen the numbers reverse - a reflection of the aging of the population. She is glad the program can fit all needs. But, she was hopeful when seniors, who are 60 years and older, learn of the benefits of the service, including socialization and activities, more will attend the site.
The senior dining center program is funded by the state Department of Health and Office for the Aging, with federal, state county funding and confidential donations. Reservations for the 40th anniversary meal should be made by March 21 by calling 865-6739 or 746-1710.