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Cherrywood news 12-18-2015

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Our community knows how to celebrate

By John Everlove

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Cherrywood residents know how to keep Christmas like no other community that I have ever lived in. First, the decorations on the homes comes to mind. As is our custom, every year at this time my bride and I pack our two puppy ‘kids’ in the car and cruise the neighborhood admiring all of the displays.
One of the decorations was pointed out to me by my friend and colleague, Laura Smith of Oak Run. She had noticed the Christmas tree on the corner of SW 98th Street Road and 60th Avenue. As that is the first street entering our community; it almost serves as a cheery welcome to Cherrywood.
Many other homes brighten the night with lights and over the top displays like the one on SW 63rd Avenue.
As you drive through the community, it is easy to feel the warmth of its residents.
 The lights; the music; the inflatables; all are beautiful and speak to not only the Spirit of Christmas but also to the artistic talents of the homeowners.   
A second factor I learned about this Christmas was that our residents donated so much to the Support our Soldiers campaign that the committee had 10 care packages to send to our troops overseas. These gifts mean so much to our military personnel serving far from home as evidenced by the many ‘Thank you’ letters we receive.
Yet another sign of our community’s spirit showed up.
Personally I observed the bin set aside for the Toys for Tots program run by the United States Marines each year.
The box in the clubhouse was filled to overflowing thanks to the generosity of our Cherrywood family. Many in need children will have a wonderful Christmas morning because you; the residents of Cherrywood care.
Lastly, on Saturday, the 19th of December, we will have our annual Christmas open house.
Snacks and egg nog; Christmas music; an Ugly Sweater contest and Chinese auction will all be held at the clubhouse. There will be smiles and laugher; good cheer and good wishes shared with friends and neighbors.
This is a joyous season, especially for the young. That so many of our people are willing to share the joy with our heroes serving in the military; with children in unfortunate circumstances and who take the time and effort to decorate their homes; speaks very highly of the character of our community.
On behalf of the kids; our service men and women; and my family; I say thank you to each and every one of you marvelous people.

Ladies luncheon
On Wednesday, Dec. 9, our Ladies held their monthly luncheon in the clubhouse. Ann Bardack began the meal with grace and the ladies enjoyed a delicious meal in the comfortable and relaxed atmosphere of the clubhouse. Carol Adams and Sue Anderson celebrated birthdays this month and everyone enjoyed birthday cupcakes fashioned in the shape of a holiday wreath by Candy McGrath.
All the ladies of Cherrywood are invited to attend these monthly get-togethers. They are always held on the second Wednesday of the month at noon. In January that will be the 13th. Just bring a dish to pass; your own place setting and a big smile. You’ll not only enjoy delicious food; you’ll love the company.

Please note
Just a reminder; there will be no bingo on Dec. 24 or 31 and no line dancing until Jan. 6. Because of the holidays and the dates they fall on, these two activities have been put off until the first of the year. Also, remember the office will be closed on Dec. 17, 18, 25 and Jan. 1.
New Year’s Eve
Get your tickets right away so you can be part of the New Year’s Eve celebration here at Cherrywood. They will be on sale until Dec. 23 at the office. The cost is just $10 per person and that includes snacks; music by Rainbow Connection; party favors and of course, a Champagne toast at midnight.
See Jennifer to purchase your tickets for one of the biggest and best events of the year. The Rainbow Connection is our go-to band for the New Year. They have class and style; they take requests and they are all talented musicians with spirit and style.
Holiday punch will be available along with the finger foods but you are free to bring a little something to fortify this beverage if you wish. The fun begins at 8 p.m. and goes until late at night or early morning depending on your point of view. Don’t miss out; join the fun.

Veterans Club
The next meeting of the Veterans Club will be on Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. Our guest speaker will be a representative of the Veterans helping Veterans organization. All the veterans of Cherrywood are encouraged to join our active and productive club and all the residents of Cherrywood are welcome at our meetings.
Immediately following the business meeting, we all gather on the patio for a time to socialize. Free libations are provided so come out and see what we do for not only our Veterans but those in the community; state and nationally too.

Veteran Appreciation Dinner
For those of you who purchased tickets for the Veterans Day service luncheon; we have great news. See Jennifer in the office and get your tickets free to the dinner now planned for Jan. 16. This meal is being catered by Southern Pig & Cattle Company restaurant.
Here’s the menu; pulled pork, mac and cheese, barbecued beans, a roll and dessert. This promises to be a bigger and better event than the meal that was planned for Veterans Day that didn’t appear. Kenny Jackson is going to return with his quick wit and vast musical array to entertain us so this should be a great time for all who attend.
If you didn’t purchase a ticket for the Veterans Day program, you can still buy tickets to this event. The cost is $5 for vets and their spouses and $7 for guests. We don’t want anyone left out but we have to let the restaurant know how many will be attending. For this reason, we ask that you get your free tickets if you have them coming or purchase your tickets as soon as possible.

Movie night
Each month a first rate movie is played on the big screen at the clubhouse. On Tuesday, Jan. 5, the showing will be Mr. Holmes starring Ian McKellem. This drama depicts the detective after retirement and near death trying to solve the mystery that led to his retirement in the first place. Unable to rely on his memory, he must get help. Come see who he gets and if he can put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Free popcorn and soft drinks are provided to all but you are welcome to bring your own refreshments. In addition, the chairs from pool side are brought in to make sure everyone has a comfortable seat for this movie.
The movie is free; the popcorn and drinks are free and the company is excellent. Come join us for the first movie night of the New Year.

Garden Club
On the first Wednesday of each month, our gardeners gather in the clubhouse at 10 a.m. to discuss everything green that grows. In your travels around the neighborhood I’m sure you have noticed some of the yards with the beautiful flowers; trees; lawns and other features that make their homes stand out.
If you are new to our area you will find these meetings especially helpful as you can learn about what grows well here and what doesn’t. If you don’t have a ‘green thumb’ when you start; the friendly people that gather will share their knowledge with you and make you an expert in no time.

From the reporter
As the year comes to a close I would like to thank my readers for their patience and kindness to me this past year. You have warmly welcomed me back and so to you; to Jim Clark our editor and all the staff of the Citizen; thank you.
My work would not be possible without the help of many people in our community. Jennifer in the office who proofs my work and keeps me up to date has been a huge part of this column. Others include Holly Bragdon, our resident energizer bunny who takes the photos and runs many of the activities; Jay O’Hern who heads the Social Committee and his brother Fred who, between the two of them, are the driving force behind this very active community.
Others include our CERT team leader, Dave Siegel; Sarah Blair who runs the Cribbage Club; Welcoming Committee and even substitutes for me at times; Bill Mahar, President of our Veterans Club who also provides me with some humor, albeit inadvertently; Eve Houghtaling, our Activities Committee chair person and one of our community spark plugs. To Rich Becotte, our DJ; Trude Smith our S.O.S. coordinator; Rich and Dolly Juber who run our Bingo and Ann Bardack who hosts our Ladies Luncheons.
There are too many people who help me to mention each individually but please know that my gratitude and appreciation goes out to all our chair persons and the many volunteers who make my work so much easier and make this community so much nicer. Thank you and Merry Christmas.