A meal and a song

Senior members of the community were the guests of honor escorted by family, friends and caregivers along with Ashland Rotarians Thursday at the annual Ashland Rotary Holiday Dinner.

Guests were bussed to the event, arriving like clockwork to enter on foot, with a cane or in a wheelchair to discover the Old Historic Ashland Armory decorated for the gala party which feaatured stage entertainment and a dinner feast.

Diane Fair, the Linda Vista activities director, has worked the past six years on transportation with event coordinator Rotarian Marshall Malden to help keep things running smoothly.

"Our residents get all dressed up and look forward to this event all year long so we want everyone who wishes to attend to come," Fair said.

"This is a very nice event and the food is just wonderful. The caters are doing a really great job," said Marguerite Craig of Mountain Meadows, who decided to come for her first time.

Helen Clough, a resident of Skylark Assisted Living, sat next to fellow resident Virginia Bednar.

"She's my brain so whenever I forget something she pipes up and tells what I need to know," Clough said. "I am originally from Maine and I don't have any family out here so it is very, very special to be here tonight."

Throughout the evening the guests were fed and entertained by a broad range of diverse live groups form around the Rogue Valley offering their talents in classical chamber music, Christmas carols, colorful traditional Mexican dance, Hawaiian hula dancers and songs of peace and joy by the Peace Choir.

After MC Rotarian Martha Bennett introduced a dozen or so Ashland Rotary Holiday singers and musicians, some singers stepped off the stage in mid-song, walking through the crowd to offer the microphone to individual willing guests at the tables who could be heard over the speaker systems singing along to the songs.

Santa Claus was ushered in the door by the stage singers with a rendition of "Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus lane"¦" .

As he passed out his gifts to each and every table he proclaimed, "Ho, ho, ho "¦and to all a very good night!"

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