The day before New Year’s Eve the senior center looked a bit bare with most of the Christmas decorations down and put away. The tables were set with “Happy New Year” napkins, thanks to Kaitlyn, Emma and Jillian, Diane West’s granddaughters.

Charlene Lauer was back at the desk with me after enjoying close to a month visiting her friend Marsha in Las Vegas. They took in some shows, an Elvis impersonator, “Menopause,” which she said was hilarious and a Christmas show. At Binion’s Casino, she and Marsha had their picture taken with a stack of money, one million dollars. They both look very happy, obviously having a good time even if the money was just to look at and not theirs to keep. Of course, Charlene visited and did some shopping at her favorite Las Vegas spot, Ethel M’s candy shop.

Cora Mather decided to come back from Denver early after hearing the weather forecasts, a wise decision since she avoided those massive airport delays. She had spent Christmas with family in Denver.

In reviewing the bridge scores for the past quarter, Marilyn Montoya was the high scorer with Helen Weber and Bev Couture tied for second highest.

Diane Walters was pleased to announce that we met our goal for the Stephen Center, in fact we exceeded it by $79.25. We collected $172 in the can for the month of December making our total for the year $1615.25. $750 of that money bought 500 bus tickets, the rest was cash. In addition, we donated food, coats, scarves, gloves and blankets throughout the year for which the Stephen Center is very grateful.

The money is put to good use, the recent bulletin from the Stephen Center highlights a mother that kept applying at the center until they had a vacancy, she wanted to turn her life around for herself and her young boys. She had heard good things about the Stephen Center and it being a family shelter. She now has a job and is saving money to get contact lenses for one of her sons which will enable him to have vision he would not have without them.

We have a right to be proud of ourselves for supporting this good cause and recognize Diane Walters for her efforts. Diane not only collects and delivers the donations, she purchases the bus tickets and encourages and challenges us to do what we can. Under her leadership we went from donating $270 in 2011 to $1,615 in 2015 .

It is time to recognize all the volunteers and the “jobs” they do to keep our Ralston Senior Center going.

Diane West, president, is responsible for the smooth running of all aspects of the senior center, does the monthly calendar, shops for supplies and keeps the shelves stocked, cleans and keeps the kitchen and storage room tidy, comes in Tuesday evening to turn on the large coffee pot, puts out and sends greeting cards, sets tables for special events, washes towels used on Wednesday and will be doing the monthly ENOA report. Diane alternates with Dorothy Schultz in opening and locking the senior center.

Dorothy Schultz, vice president, assists with decorating, keeps the lunch line running smoothly, is in charge of scheduling and organizing Sloan, Iowa trips and calls Thursday Bingo parties. Alternates with Diane West opening and locking the senior center.

Iva Gilmer, secretary, in addition to secretarial duties alternates playing piano/organ for monthly birthday celebrations.

Beverly Sadler, treasurer, in addition to treasurer responsibilities, assists president as requested, helps with greeting cards. Board members at large: Charlene Lauer, Leora Fuller, Diane Walters, John Fifer and Ila Hossler.

Joan Ehrenberg takes lunch reservations, calls caterer and assists with bingo.

Beverly Fisher keeps library in order and assists with bingo set up.

Ila Hossler schedules monthly entertainment and picks up unused place mats, cups and napkins and puts them away.

Donna Trask cleans the large coffee pot every week.

Ron Wilson puts out butter dishes and keeps them clean.

Janet Rentko works at the desk, makes the coffee on Wednesday mornings, and leads the exercise class on Tuesday and Friday. She has done the monthly ENOA report for the last 8 years.

Jo Kowal, Jo Adams, Jo Polifka and Ron Wilson are responsible for sugar, creamer dishes, salt and pepper and helps keep them filled and clean.

Diane Walters is chairperson of membership committee and takes care of monthly donations for Stephen Center and the annual membership donation collection.

Charlene Lauer works at the desk. She makes coffee when needed.

Patricia Irons decorates the center and bulletin boards for different holidays and seasons with assistance from Louise Carter, Sharon Kirk, Viola Allen and Peggy Walters.

John Fifer keeps the Memorial board up to date.

Helen Savich leads the line dancing on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.

Linda Dunn makes phone calls for birthday cakes.

Cake cutters: Verda Parr, Iva Gilmer, Patricia Irons and Peggy Walters.

Ice cream servers: Donna Dix, Donna Retzlaff, Molly Bartlett and Bev Sadler.

Janice Cline runs bingo party on the second Thursday of the month.

Dorothy Schultz runs bingo party on fourth Thursday of the month.

Joan Patrick and Ruth Ferring assist with bingo.

Lillian Miller keeps track of the bridge scores.

Helen Weber alternates playing the piano /organ for monthly birthday celebrations.

Virginia Hilbers and Joan Bauer assist at desk when needed.

Barb Seerley leads exercise classes when needed.

Every week someone from each table will set the table. Tables rotate every week as to serving and picking up afterwards. Our planned entertainment for this month will be Dancing Granny’s on Jan. 27, always a fun experience. Be sure to call Joan at 402-592-3362 and make your lunch reservations. Hope your year is going well so far. You know how to reach me.

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