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United Way of Central Oklahoma

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Mingle all the way


Escorted in by service members and bright-eyed young professionals, a bus-full of senior citizens celebrated the holidays at the Oklahoma History Center on Dec. 7 during an evening many of them had been waiting for all year.

“This is my second year to attend,” said Sylvia Washington, a Trinity Gardens resident. “It’s a good time and it means a lot to get out, especially to some of these residents that will not even get out to bingo. It’s nice to see everyone dressed up and having fun.”

The Emerging Leaders group from United Way of Central Oklahoma hosted its third annual senior holiday dance, providing a dinner, live music and an open dance floor to the residents of Trinity Gardens and Villa Isenbart, senior housing facilites sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Also invited were residents from St. Katherine Drexel Retirement Center in El Reno.

“One of my favorite things about this event is being able to intermingle with multiple generations,” said Donny Greenwalt, Emerging Leaders steering committee member. “While we all come from different backgrounds, we can all agree that we all want to be loved and we all want to be involved during the holidays.”

Emerging Leaders first formulated the idea of giving back to senior citizens when thinking of a group not commonly touched during the holidays, Greenwalt said. The Emerging Leaders group, comprised of young adults in the community aspiring to be the leaders of tomorrow, finds joy in providing a memorable night for the citizens in their community that paved the way for younger generations.