Niskayuna seniors celebrate holidays

KATE BUNSTER/ GAZETTE REPORTER
Anita Riccio shares a laugh with friends at the Niskayuna Senior Center holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.KATE BUNSTER/ GAZETTE REPORTER Anita Riccio shares a laugh with friends at the Niskayuna Senior Center holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.

BY KATE BUNSTER
Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — It seemed like there was no holiday celebration that could top the Niskayuna Senior Center’s Halloween party this year.

But as it turns out, there was.

About 60 seniors gathered in the basement of the center Dec. 15 for their holiday bash, including a lunch and performance by Niskayuna High School’s Ladies First Choir. The room was decked out in Christmas red balloons, wreaths and holly jolly decor.

Although this wasn’t a costume party, festive clothing didn’t fall short — the crowd blended together into a sea of red dress.

As usual, a delicious lunch was cooked up by the senior center staff. Friends caught up as they enjoyed their meal. A smile was engraved onto each one of their faces as they got a taste of what the holidays are all about.

KATE BUNSTER/ GAZETTE REPORTER Friends catch up over a lasagna dinner at the Niskayuna Senior Center holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.

KATE BUNSTER/ GAZETTE REPORTER
Friends catch up over a lasagna dinner at the Niskayuna Senior Center holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.

The entree of the day was lasagna and homemade bread, which left them feeling satisfied, some even pointing out how large the portions were.

As the seniors enjoyed their meals, a slide show played of pictures throughout the past year. Friends called out one another’s names when they came on the screen to notify them their picture was up. Memories flooded back from past adventures — their Lake George lunch cruise, art classes and gardening club.

After dinner concluded, a cake was brought out for center member Elma Miney who turned 90 years old that day. She clapped as her peers sang and closed her eyes to make a wish before blowing out her candles.

KATE BUNSTER/ GAZETTE REPORTER Cindy Desso leads the group in singing "Happy Birthday" to Elma Miney who turned 90 years old on Dec. 15, 2015.

KATE BUNSTER/ GAZETTE REPORTER
Cindy Desso leads the group in singing “Happy Birthday” to Elma Miney who turned 90 years old on Dec. 15, 2015.

But if you walk around the senior center, most will tell you that events like this wouldn’t be able to happen without the heart and soul of the center: the staff. To them, it’s days like this that bring them joy.

“I love working with so many talented staff to provide fun and important programing for the seniors,” said Rosemarie Mullaney, assistant coordinator of community programs at the center.
Mullaney, along with her co-worker Cindy Desso and other staff at the senior center, served the meals to the seniors as a special holiday treat.

“My favorite memory from the year are celebrations like this, when everyone gets together and not matter what they are going through they enjoy themselves,” said Desso. “It means so much that we can make them happy.”