orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

December 4, 2013

Annual feast celebrates Seniors

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

MAURICEVILLE — A special community tradition which has united a community for decades will be held once again this Saturday night.

The 37th annual Mauriceville Senior Citizens Supper will be held at 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, at Mauriceville Elementary School, 20040 FM 1130 in Mauriceville, in the school cafeteria. The supper is free to all current and former residents of Mauriceville, who are ages 55 and older, are invited to this event.

The event began in the late 1970s as a dream of “Cha Cha” Holmsback and was attended by 68 people in its first year. It has grown considerably since that first year and is regularly attended by more than 200 guests each Christmas season.

“Cha Cha approached (Orange County) Commissioners Court many years ago, and they proclaimed the first Friday in December to be Senior Citizens Day in Mauriceville, and we kept that as a tradition with our supper,” said Mary Jane Johnson of the event organizing committee. “It has grown into a very popular event in the community and people look forward to it every year.”

The event, which is funded through donations from the community, also assists a “deserving” student of Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School with a college education through the Cha Cha Memorial Scholarship.

The senior citizen dinner has traditionally been held on a Friday night, but moved to Saturday a few years ago and has continued with the change.

“We originally moved it from a Friday to a Saturday because of bad weather one year,” Johnson added. “We found we had more help in setting up and preparing the school, plus we didn’t have to wait on the kids to get out of school. The turnout was just as good, so it definitely benefited us to leave it as a Saturday event.”

Guests will be treated to a tasty Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, plus a special performance by area gospel music group, The Martin Family. Judge Derry Dunn will serve as master of ceremonies once again, and Santa Claus will make a pre-Christmas visit to Orange County with a gift for each senior citizen in attendance at the event.

Prizes will be awarded to the “oldest man,” “oldest woman,” “person who traveled the farthest” and “oldest graduate from Mauriceville.” A “Good Samaritan” award also provides extra excitement to the event.

“We are hoping for a big turnout. It’s always so much fun and everyone loves being able to visit with old friends,” Johnson said. “We had 168 senior citizens attend in 2012. As the years go by, our numbers decrease, but that is a part of life. We are making the most of each year and its always a great time.”

For more information on the Mauriceville Senior Citizens Supper, call Mary Jane Johnson at 409-745-1357, Patsy Viator at 409-745-1308 or Nelda Burton at 409-882-4436.