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Mardi Gras came to SummerGlen

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By Elbert Ford

It’s been a while since I last authored this column but things are moving right along here, with many activities to occupy our time. (Hey, excuse me but I came here to retire and loaf.)

Many of us participated in Christmas caroling around the pool at the Residents Hall, and six or seven went to the house of a 108-year-old resident to personally treat her.

Our New Year’s Eve gala was a fun evening for many, while others just relaxed at home with a few friends. All in all the New Year happened anyway.

Our Super Bowl blowout was a hoot and our meeting room in the Residents Hall was alive with enthusiasm. Much rooting was done for the winners, as many here are from that area.

Our Valentine’s dance was a beautiful affair, with a “heartily” decorated room. A Big Sun barbershop quartet came to deliver a singing Valentine to a very lucky lady from her loving husband. I understand tears were shed by her, as well as by many of the ladies present.

I feel that the coup de gras for the year thus far was our Mardi Paws parade with our pets riding in their owner’s brightly adorned golf carts. I understand that a cat rode out the parade with its owner. (You couldn’t get my cats in one of those contraptions.)

Arlene Hofkin was kind enough to report on the event and supply pictures of the events. Her contribution is a welcome addition to the column, which follows.

Mardi Gras

The SummerGlen Softball Association (SGSA) sponsored its first Mardi Gras celebration with full spirit of the New Orleans original – “Laissez Les Bons Temps Roule” (Let The Good Times Roll). The Ladies Auxilliary of SGSA, known as the Diamonds, worked tirelessly to organize and execute the events.

The grand celebration kicked off Feb. 21, with the Mardi Paws Pet Parade, chaired by Susan Sullivan Sayles. Residents of SummerGlen registered their pets for the parade by donating dog or cat food to Marion County Pets on Wheels. Golf carts and pets were adorned in Mardi Gras finery in the classic colors of green, purple and gold.

Distinguished guests in the community held court at a reviewing stand at the parade’s end. Everyone had a wonderful time, each pet received a favor and there were three door prizes presented of donated gift certificates to Pet-Smart.

The following Tuesday night was the Mardi Gras gala and dance. The king and queen were selected by the SGSA, using the criteria of exemplary service to the community. Dan Murphy and Katie Soderberg reigned over the night.

Members of the Diamonds catered this gala with New Orleans cuisine and grandeur. With Mardi Gras decorations covering all aspects of the venue the revelers drank, dined and danced through the evening.

Thanks to one of the SGSA Diamonds, Charlyn Kelleher, who resided in New Orleans and had the knowledge to pull off this extravaganza. SummerGlen had an unbelievable celebration that is sure to be an annual event. Thank you to the SGSA President Al Dancause and the SGSA Diamonds for all their hard work.

Thank you, Arlene.

Now we are kind of decompressing – getting ready for warmer weather. See you by the pool.

Elbert Ford, his wife, Pat, and their two cats have been happy residents of SummerGlen for three years – after 34 winters in Michigan. Get your group’s news to Elbert at 484-1216 or e-mail elbieham@hotmail.com.