- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 22 May 2015
A weekly gathering of friends
Late on a Tuesday morning, the basement door of the Warwick Town Hall opens, as it has done for 30 years, to lively voices chattering out into the country air.
The weekly gathering of the Warwick Luncheon Club has begun, and the last few of the ten to fifteen customary attendees are trickling in from outside and down from upstairs, where wellness chair exercise and Tai Chi classes have been taking place. A hot meal is served at noon.
Gloria Varno explains that she attends because she’s retired now and simply can. “All these ladies,” she says, gesturing to the women seated around her, “are very pleasant to spend time with. We chat and catch up.”
“It’s good visiting time. We have a chance to gab,” agrees Helen P., adding, “We’re a lot older, we can’t hear anymore, and we can’t see, but we have a good time!”
Some of those who gather also walk together three days a week for two or so miles.
Two members of the weekly group are recognized as the eldest present. Julia (Judy) Styles is 91 and still joins the group every Tuesday, accompanied by her daughter, and Ed Hawes is 92.
We’re really good at keeping people at home. We’re even better at getting them out of the house.
The Warwick Luncheon clubs offers more the a meal; it's a social gathering of friends.
Everyone works together to help out
“Dan and Diana are real treasures,” says Miryam Williamson, referring to Dan Dibble and Diana Tandy, who volunteer to handle and oversee the weekly preparations.
“Diana Tandy is the primary kitchen person. She arrives before 9, opens up the doors, and starts cleaning and getting things ready,” explains Dan. “I'm usually there by 9:15 and help get tables and chairs set and put out signup sheets and informational flyers, etc.”
About a dozen other volunteers help on a rotating schedule each week.
After the meal, says Carol Foote, everyone comes together to clean up. “We wash dishes and take care of the whole place. We really help Dan out.”
Find a dining center near you
If you’d like to join others for the luncheon, call 978-544-2630 one serving day in advance to reserve your spot.
People age 60 and older and their spouse of any age are welcome to attend. There are no financial eligibility requirements or cost for the meal, though voluntary donations are accepted. You do not have to live in the community where you dine.
To inquire about a Senior Luncheon Club or Dining Center in your area, contact the Nutrition Program at Franklin County Home Care by calling 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259 or via email. Read more about the program and find menus and a complete listing of locations here.