Area seniors invited for Thanksgiving meal

Published 12:10 am Saturday, November 14, 2015

RESERVE — In an effort to give back to the senior citizens in St. John the Baptist Parish the Sheriff’s Office and Crime Fighters will be holding a Thanksgiving luncheon.

The luncheon begins with bingo at 10 a.m. with lunch following at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Regala Gym at 200 Regala Drive in Reserve.

Sgt. Marshall Carmouche said the luncheon is a nice outing for the senior citizens of St. John Parish. There is no fee, he said.

Seniors are promised food, fun, music and prizes at the luncheon.

Carmouche said organizers are preparing for 325 to 350 people.

The luncheon is geared towards senior community members and not large families.

“I hope the families understand that if they eat, there would be a possibility that some senior citizens won’t have any,” Carmouche said.

Over the years Carmouche believes the senior citizens of St. John really enjoy attending the Thanksgiving luncheon.

“I think they absolutely love it,” he said. “It’s an outing for them and it’s a time for a bunch of them to get together and they really seem to enjoy it. We’ll play Christmas music and play bingo and have door prizes. I’m also trying to get a guest speaker.”

Deputy Cindy Faucheux said the luncheon normally averages 400 people, but because of the change of location, she is hoping as many people come as possible. The Thanksgiving luncheon is normally held the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. This year it will be on a Friday.

In past years, the senior citizens luncheon has been held at the East St. John Elementary School cafeteria, but since the school was damaged as a result of a fire that occurred earlier this year the event has been moved to Regala Gym.

Crime Fighters is made up of Sheriff’s Office employees that organize Christmas parties and Easter egg hunts for children, along with the visiting nursing homes and having the senior citizen luncheon.

“The luncheon is just like a little thank you to the seniors of our parish,” Faucheux said. “They might not be able to get out and do a whole lot. We play bingo for an hour and give out gift certificates and little gifts, and then we serve them lunch. They also get door prizes and have the chance to win a flat screen TV.”

Crime Fighters and the Sheriff’s Office will prepare the food served to seniors.

“We have baked chicken,” Faucheux said. “There will also be dirty rice, green beans and bread pudding. In the middle of all of the tables, we are going to have apples and oranges, something healthy because a lot of them can’t have sugar because they are diabetic.

“This is truly for our seniors. There is no need to RSVP or anything, people just need to show up.”

Faucheux said the Thanksgiving luncheon for the senior citizens of St. John the Baptist Parish is important because the area’s seniors have “taken us where we are today.”

“They don’t get a whole lot during the year,” she said. “This is just our way of thanking them. In today’s world, they don’t get appreciated a whole lot. I think they get excited about it; they really seem to look forward to it.”

— By Raquel Derganz Baker