The May trip to Sloan, Iowa, and the WinnaVegas Casino went well. The bus was almost full and everyone including Dorothy had a good time (I learned that’s code for there were winners).

Next month, the 99-cent breakfast will be back at the buffet and they have gotten some new machines. The casino celebrated its 25th anniversary by giving out some envelopes containing cash. Unfortunately, no one from the Ralston group got an envelope. The next trip is June 11. Call Dorothy at 402-553-4874 to reserve a seat.

We celebrated birthdays on May 15. It was definitely chocolate cake day as everyone brought a chocolate cake. We sang the birthday song, and Diane West took the group picture. Pictured are June Staples, Lorna Swingen, Dean Betzer, Donna Trask and Gloria House. The cakes were donated by Dean Betzer, Verna Jackley, Ila Hossler, Lorna Swingen, Ron Wilson, Donna Trask and Janet Rentko. June Staples donated the ice cream. Also celebrating a May birthday but not previously mentioned are: Joanne Thompson, Bernie Bogatz, Ron Siske and Beverly Fisher.

That same evening, at the Ralston American Legion, Larry Pallet took orders and did all the cooking. Donna Pallet and Norma Linnell helped serve the meals. Everything was hot and delicious. Anne Mecseji was bingo caller and we had a surprise. Along with candy bars as prizes, we had a choice of individual packages of nuts, cashews, peanuts or almonds. Even though someone keeps changing the number on our table, it is still lucky for us. Larry Dyer won the first, last (blackout) and one in the middle. Norma Linnell and Rich Krambeck got bingo also. The catfish served on May 17 was good, Paul Linnelll was back in the kitchen with Larry Pallet and there was a full menu if catfish was not your desire. Another nice surprise was a salad in place of cole slaw.

On May 18, friends and family filled the fellowship hall at Trinity United Methodist Church to celebrate Marge O’Reillys’ 90th birthday. I thought the candlelight added a nice touch for people to sign the guest book and see the pictures and other memorabilia. Guests enjoyed a variety of snacks as well as delicious cream puffs and a special strawberry shortcake birthday cake. It didn’t take long to realize those candles not only added to the atmosphere but served a purpose since the power was out. Colored tablecloths with fresh roses on each table along with various pictures created a festive look.

Last Wednesday at the senior center we were entertained by singer Paul Siebert. We remembered Paul from his visit last October. His profession was a manufacturing engineer and he took up music later in life (he’s only 57). He started the program with a Johnny Cash country western song. We learned that it is called country because it was people from the country, not cities, that listened to that kind of music. Paul plays a variety of instruments. That day it was the guitar, banjo, hammered dulcimer, ukulele and button accordion. He does research on his instruments, their history and where they come from, so in addition to the music, we learn something. Paul studied classical music for a year and sometimes plays at weddings. He did “Ode to Joy” for us on the dulcimer. He ended the program with a 1770’s patriotic poem set to “The Star Spangled Banner,” “America” and “God Bless America.” By that time he had us all singing along. We look forward to having him play for us again next year and thank Ila Hossler, our program coordinator, for scheduling the great entertainment.

Later that same evening at the Ralston American Legion, Cora Mather was back as bingo caller after visiting with family. The team of Paul Linnell and Larry Pallet were kept busy back in kitchen. It was a special evening as we were celebrating Dean Betzer’s 95th birthday. Family, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors were there to celebrate with him and enjoy the delicious chocolate cake. Dean was too busy visiting with guests to concentrate on his bingo cards but we had plenty of winners all around the room. Ron Nelson, Larry Dyer (who won the blackout again), Jerry Fouts, Donna Pallet and Norma Linnell were among the winners. Come join us at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The June calendars and menu are on the back table. The menus for June will be: June 5 — Brats, macaroni salad and pudding. June 12 — Swiss steak with tomato gravy, buttered rice and vegetable. June 19 — Ham and potato casserole, vegetable and Jell-O. June 26 — Fish sandwich, cole slaw and pudding. We will be entertained by Billy Troy on June 26. Please call Diane at 402-885-8895 to make your reservation.

Thank you for all your comments and input. You know how to reach me.

— Janet Rentko is a member of the

Ralston Senior Center

Email: eric.taylor@papilliontimes.com Phone: 402-505-3613

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