Vero Beach seniors find holiday spirit in food, friends and dancing

VERO BEACH – Dressed in festive colors and sweaters, seniors poured into the Schumann Center off US 1 for a holiday party complete with food, dancing and cheer.

Santa Claus heard about the celebration and decided to come out to mix and mingle with the diners, determining who is naughty and who is nice.  

“These are sensible people,” Santa said after sitting down with several people. “They’re just enjoying themselves.”

The Christmas Party at the senior center served as an opportunity for people to mix and mingle and make new friends.

“I certainly had nothing better to do,” said Alicia Callander, chuckling.

She has recently started coming to the center, having joined the Singles Club. She’s learning to play Rummikub.

“It’s something to do,” she said.

“I really feel proud we have this for seniors,” Schumann Center volunteer Tricia Allison said, adding that it is important for seniors to socialize – and dance.

Providing the night’s entertainment was The Accidentals, a band that plays at the center twice a week and every special function.

The band consists of Chuck Allshouse, John McNeil, Allyn Scheidegg, Roger Dietz, Shirley Young, Dell Oquist and Gloria Smart.

“We just do it,” Allshouse said. “You get to be a certain age and you don’t know or remember why. We enjoy it.”

Allshouse added that the members probably get more out of performing than the audience does.

About 80 seniors came out to the special potluck dinner to catch up with friends and take a spin around the dance floor.

“I’m in the spirit already,” Callander said of feeling festive.

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