Harambee honors seniors at banquet

Aug. 06, 2014 @ 10:18 AM

Throngs of senior citizens attended the Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquet on Tuesday evening at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Lenoir.

As part of the 2014 Harambee Arts Festival, the Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquet provides a free dinner and an evening of activities for local seniors. Special groups attended from Lenoir Park-Brookdale Senior Living and American Legion Post 321.

In the gymnatorium, multiple tables were set up with purple or yellow tablecloths decorated with silver centerpieces. Everyone was chatting, giving hugs, waving to each other across the room and catching up. Dinner was provided by Marissa Drew, with entertainment by singer Ray Dykes. As soon as Dykes began singing, people raised their hands in the air and began clapping as he raised his rich voice with gospel music.

Miss Harambee 2014, 16-year-old Milon Greene, greeted guests as they entered, read a passage of Psalms before dinner and handed out door prizes to winners.

Everyone had a different yet just as special reason as to why the Senior Citizens Appreciation Banquet was important to them.

Linda Hood said, “To me, this is just means a special event for our seniors for fellowship, enjoying each other’s company, eat a good meal (and) kick back.”

Edna Horton Springs said she had been coming to the banquet for three years.

“I was born and raised here, so I know all the people here,” Horton Springs said. “I love it. I wouldn’t miss it.”

Linda Tate, who was on the Harambee Arts Festival Committee, said the event is near and dear to her heart.

“It’s a gathering of our elder citizens to celebrate them,” Tate said. “(It) gives us an opportunity for everyone to see our culture and understand the accepting of our different cultures. We celebrate our entire community.”