Tables overflowing with colorful bows, poinsettias, candy canes, cinnamon sticks and other holiday paraphernalia filled the WISE Senior Center last week, as seniors gathered to decorate wreaths. Weiss Memorial Hospital donated finished wreathes to local businesses to help deck storefronts for the holiday season.
Holiday wreaths from WISE Senior Center members will be
decorating neighboring businesses this season.
William Thomas, a volunteer and Senior Center regular, assisted people as they chose their decorations. “This gives seniors something to do and gives the community a seasonal touch,” Thomas said. He attributed the inspiration to Senior Services Coordinator Abby Lochotzki, who coordinates various giving programs throughout the year.
A former illustrator, Thomas volunteered to help with the wreaths because of everything the Senior Center has done for him. “You’re always around people who are happy to see you and who you’re happy to see,” he said.
Another Senior Center regular, Bonnie Lee Wilson, wrapped wire around a pinecone and attached it to her wreath. She ha
d heard about the event at the Senior Support Group meeting the week prior, and because she missed last year’s wreath decorating, she was determined to make it to this year’s.
“It’s something the community needs,” Wilson said, adding that she was happy to take charge in adding cheer to the neighborhood. “If nobody else is going to supply it, we’ve got to.”
She turned the wreath in her hands, testing berries and ribbon in various spots. “I don’t have a technique (for decorating),” she said. “I look for balance so everything seems intentional and not like it just fell on the wreath.”
By the end of the afternoon, more than 30 visitors, volunteers and employees had decorated 50 wreaths. The finished wreaths lined the hallway outside the Senior Center, filling the air with smells of cinnamon and pine—ready to spread the holiday spirit from the people who decorated them to the rest of the neighborhood.