BELFRY, Ky. — Seniors and their families from the Belfry area gathered Tuesday for a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Belfry Senior Center. The annual dinner had homemade turkey and dressing provided by the center, but according to Magistrate Bobby Varney, it wasn’t the food that embodied the holiday spirit.
“This dinner they’re having is complimentary of everything they do here,” Magistrate Varney said. “It really is one big family… We have a lot to be thankful for, especially during the holidays, and we take it for granted. One of those things is our seniors: grandmothers, grandfathers, great aunts and uncles. This time of year is about families, and we can’t leave them out.”
Pat Hatfield of Hardy, Ky., who attended the dinner on Tuesday, said she is thankful for the center and all of the work they do for the senior citizen community.
“I like being here,” Hatfield said. “I live by myself, and I really enjoy coming up here. We’ve got some wonderful people here at this center, and I tell you one thing you can say about Pike County: they’re good to their seniors.”
The celebration saw approximately 25 to 30 seniors along with their family members. However, Belfry Senior Center Director Susie Stanley says they also serve around 55 home-delivered meals to seniors who are not able to get out of their homes and come to the celebration in person.
“Everybody needs somebody who they love to be with during the holidays,” Stanley said. “A lot of our senior citizens don’t have family. A lot of them are left alone during the holidays because all of their family lives away from here. We do this because they are like our family. We want to take care of them, and make sure they have a good meal. “
With a menu of fresh turkey, gravy, dressing, and sides/desserts provided by the seniors, it was difficult for many of the attendees to choose their favorite part of the day.
“The food is all delicious,” Hatfield said. “But really, I love just sitting here and being with everyone.”
The day was spent eating, laughing, socializing, and playing pool. For many, it was a chance to show their families the center where they spend most of their time. The Belfry Senior Center is one of eight across the county that is supported by the Pike County Fiscal Court.
“Without a county like we have that care for their senior citizens so much, this program wouldn’t last,” Hatfield said. “Our senior citizens need this more than anything.”