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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Letter: Support for holiday open house appreciated

Published 12:01 pm, Friday, January 10, 2014
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A hearty thanks to all who made the Christmas Day community open house at the Westport Center for Senior Activities possible.

We are blessed with such riches in Westport -- an abundance of generosity, energy, creativity and love. On behalf of Saugatuck Congregational Church and Temple Israel and on behalf of the 95 guests who had a wonderful time, we want to thank all our volunteers and sponsors.

For months, it looked as though the traditional Christmas Feast was not going to happen, then Jeff Wieser, president of Homes with Hope, and Barbara Butler, director of Westport's Human Services Department, came up with the idea of a no-cook open house. They approached Sue Pfister, director of the Center for Senior Activities, and Sue was able to find a custodian willing to work on Christmas, making it possible to open the center. The three of you saved the day!

Tremendous credit for the success of the event also goes to Achara Sessler and Margaret Pinheiro, administrative assistant for the Department of Human Services. They spent most of the day overseeing decorations and then coordinating the afternoon's activities. More than coordinating, they simply radiated joy!

Almost 60 volunteers decorated, gave rides, served cake, pies and cookies, mingled and chatted with the 95 guests, delivered leftovers, and spruced up the center until it shined. Special thanks to Jeff Boak and Linda Yingling, who shopped beforehand; Craig Patton, who recruited and organized volunteers and managed publicity; Kim Mathias, team leader for hospitality; and the Rev. Alison Buttrick Patton, who served as MC.

Bob Cooper and Suzanne Sheridan played music and led carols. Sono Bakery contributed cookies and rolls, and Whole Foods gave us untold pounds of fruit. Andrea and David Cross' family donated 30 poinsettias grown by Pivot Ministries. The center looked beautiful. There was dancing in the aisles.

I continue to be amazed at the generosity and caring of the community. Offers to help and contribute poured out when the open house was announced. On behalf of both Saugatuck Congregational Church and Temple Israel, we are so very grateful to you all.

Frank Basler

Bridgeport