MARQUETTE - The holiday season has just about arrived. Here are some senior-related Thanksgiving and Christmas happenings at local senior citizens centers.
The Ishpeming Multi-Purpose Senior Center has its Mitten Tree again this year.
Negaunee High School student Ricky Peterson helps put together Christmas baskets at the Negaunee Senior Citizens Center during the 2011 holiday season. The center is again putting together Christmas baskets for seniors in need. (Submitted photo)
"This is something that allows seniors to give back by donating to the community," said Elyse Bertucci, center director.
The tree collects both handmade and store-bought winter items like gloves, mittens, hats and scarves.
"We give the items to the Salvation Army for the Cheer Club," Bertucci said. "Last year, we had close to 90 items we brought in."
Anyone is welcome to donate to the mitten tree, which will be set up at the Ishpeming Senior Center.
The Negaunee Senior Citizens Center is again delivering holiday gift baskets to senior citizens in need and is seeking donations of items for that. These baskets can include grocery store gift cards, canned goods and other items. Those wishing to donate other items are asked to call the center first at 475-6266.
"We want to make sure the items are appropriate for the clients we have chosen and not duplications for things we have already received," said Kristy Basolo, Negaunee Senior Center director. "We hope to put together 12 gift baskets this year which are delivered just before Christmas by our high school student employees and the senior center staff."
Those who find they are not in the position to contribute to the baskets still can make the holiday season bright for seniors, Basolo said.
"We always encourage people to visit their senior neighbors, especially during the holidays," she said. "There are quite a few widows and widowers who might not have children or grandchildren in the area who would love to have someone visit them."
The Negaunee Senior Center has two special holiday meals set as well. On Dec. 19 will be the Christmas Luncheon and Party, which includes a ham dinner. On Dec. 26 will be the New Year's Luncheon and Party, which is a short rib dinner this year.
Both parties are $5.50 for seniors and $6.50 for the general public. Tickets go on sale on a first-come, first-served basis at 11 a.m. the day of the party, with the meal served at 11:30 a.m.
The Forsyth Township Senior Citizens Center is again putting together its well-received Adopt a Senior program for Christmas.
Friday is the deadline for submitting the paperwork to adopt a senior, said center director Julie Shaw, with the senior matches made Wednesday.
Those who would like to help with the program - designed to make the holiday brighter for seniors in need - may still do so after Friday's deadline by donating gift cards or dollars for utility assistance for seniors in need.
Call the center at 346-9862 for more information.
Other holiday celebrations at the center:
The Marquette Senior Citizens Center will have an entry in this year's Marquette Holiday Parade on Nov. 29 to kick off the holidays, said Jane Palmer, center coordinator. Other Christmas-related activities:
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.