Wilton Social Service‘s Senior Center and the Wilton Woman’s Club (WWC) hosted a drive-thru Senior Appreciation Day event at Comstock Community Center on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Stephanie Rowe, Senior Center coordinator, and WWC volunteers gave away 120 meals prepared by Village Market along with autumn goodie bags prepared by WWC volunteers of all ages. 

The effort grew out of a Woman’s Club tradition reaching back several years, of club members preparing lunches for Wilton’s seniors at Ogden House throughout the seasons. These festive luncheons, funded by the Wilton Senior Center, have provided a delicious meal and a social outing for Wilton’s senior citizen community.

When the pandemic prevented those events from taking place, WWC member Kris Herlyn reached out to Rowe at the Senior Center to ask if there could be a safe alternative for seniors who have been isolated at home for months. Together, with guidance from Wilton’s Department of Health, they organized the first Wilton Senior Appreciation Day.

Approximately 120 of Wilton’s seniors took part in the safe, socially-distant drive-thru opportunity to pick up a delicious meal along with a fall mum and a gift of hand lotion donated by Dr. Michael Noonan, local dermatologist and husband of WWC member Doris Noonan. In a sweetly thoughtful addition, the meals and gifts were packaged in bags hand-decorated with beautiful pictures and messages of love from members of the WWC’s Junior Leadership Program, comprised of daughters of WWC members.

Almost 25 members of the JLP, from toddlers to college students, volunteered for the project, and welcomed the opportunity to give back to the community in a way that was both safe and meaningful. The girls were thrilled to help bring some smiles to the seniors by decorating the bags and sending messages of hope and cheer.

“WWC members decorated the mums, packed the bags and distributed the meals and gifts at Comstock and Ogden House, and were treated to smiles and thanks and lovely conversations with our treasured Wilton seniors,” Herlyn said, adding, “It was very heartwarming. It was so nice to see their (masked) faces and chat a bit.

Herlyn added special thanks to WWC members Donna Amato, Tina Dodman, Liz Salguero, Alissa Hegelsen, Danielle Wrestling, Maria Wilcox, Andrea Bates, Dianne DeWitt, and Leslie Hueglin.

The Wilton Senior Center will be partnering with other Town organizations including the Wilton Police Department, Wilton Fire Department, and Wilton Parks and Recreation to offer drive-thru lunches for seniors on a monthly basis this fall and winter. Organizations interested in partnering should contact Rowe by email or by calling 203.834.6240.

Wilton Senior Center provides Wilton’s older citizens with stimulating and creative opportunities for their social, physical, emotional, and intellectual enrichment. While the Senior Center’s physical location at Comstock is closed due to the COVID pandemic, it is offering outdoor programming at Comstock and online Zoom presentations.

To learn about Wilton Senior Center programming, please visit Wilton Senior Center on the Town of Wilton website. Contact Rowe to subscribe to Corridors, the Senior Center newsletter, or for other questions.

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