Christmas arrives early at Clermont Northeastern

December 19th, 2008    Author: Marsha Mundy    Filed Under: News

Christmas came a little early for senior citizens in the Clermont Northeastern School District Wednesday, Dec . 10, as Citizens Bank of Higginsport sponsored and Clermont Northeastern School District hosted their annual Senior Citizens Christmas Luncheon.

The schools have been playing host to the event for more than 30 years, according to Wayne Johnson, director of special education and principal of the Early Childhood Education Center.

“We try to have gifts for all those who attend,” said Johnson. “Every senior who attends gets a gift and prizes are awarded during the day.”

Fred and Lou Lohr, of Owensville, are served turkey dinners during the Senior Citizen Luncheon at the Early Childhood Education Center hosted by Citizens Bank of Higginsport and Clermont Northeastern Schools.
Those in attendance numbered 195 and Clermont Northeastern High School student volunteers and middle school students in the National Honor Society directed traffic in the parking lot and served the seniors a lunch prepared by Clermont Northeastern foodservice.

"This is very nice," said Linda Richards, of Owensville. "It is good to see people and visit with those we haven't seen in a while and it seems like a larger crowd this year."

Richards has driven a school bus for the district for 32 years and took off from her noon route to attend the luncheon.

Bob Yeager from Citizens Bank of Higginsport greeted those in attendance before the meal and the invocation was offered by Pastor Mike Smith of Owensville United Methodist Church.

As dessert was being served, the crowd was entertained with several Christmas songs by the kindergarten chorus.

"Three years ago we came to watch our granddaughter sing," said Lou Lohr. "We have been coming ever since. We enjoy the great food and the entertainment."

During the afternoon, seniors were invited to choose some free gifts donated by area businesses. The gifts included spring flowering bulbs, wrapping paper, flower seeds, ball caps, flood alarms, and clothing items.

Weather man Rich Apuzzo, with, spoke to the group about his favorite topic, the weather.

"I do weather," said Apuzzo. "I'm a meteorologist. Last year we had one of the coldest winters ever recorded. As a meteorologist, I'm watching for unusual and powerful weather conditions."

He commented about the changing weather patterns and shared with seniors the fact that an unprecedented winter snow watch was currently in affect for the state of Mississippi.

He complained that many of those who predict the weather are inaccurate.

"I don't know how those who predict the weather can make a prediction for what will happen 200 years from now, when they can't even get the forecast right for the next seven days," said Apuzzo.

Door prizes and gifts were given to all those in attendance by CNE school nurse Lori Diekmann with the assistance of the students who also served lunch.

"I've been coming here a long time," said Owensville resident Faye Christie. "The crowd is always getting bigger. It seems to be growing because everyone enjoys a good meal, especially when it's free."

Christie graduated from CNE in 1935 and wondered how many other '35 graduates were in the crowd.

To cap off the event, a split-the-pot drawing was held and Bob Yeager, with Citizens Bank of Higginsport, won the pot. He not only put the money back into the coffers for next year's event, but he also created a $150 scholarship to be awarded to a senior at CNE.

"I just want to thank all of our prize donors," said Johnson. "Without the generosity of these businesses, we would be unable to enjoy this event each year. I especially want to recognize Citizens Bank of Higginsport, Lee and Jack's Appliance and Mike's Pharmacy, in Batavia, for their donations."
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