Senior Residents Enjoy Dinner and a Show at the 27th Annual Senior Citizen Christmas Program

PHOTO: T.A. Graydon - NewsPlus

President of the Phelan, Pinon Hills Senior Centers Jack Crawford helps members off the bus.

Snowline Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees sponsored the 27th Annual Senior Citizen Christmas Program Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at the Serrano High School Gymnasium and Performing Arts Center. Arriving by School Bus, the Tri-Community Senior Citizens Centers members from Wrightwood, Pinon Hills, and Phelan were treated to a Roasted Turkey Dinner and a Vocal, Instrumental, Dance, and Drama Show presented by the Serrano Performing Arts Students.

An anticipated capacity crowd rolled into the Serrano High School bus drop-off area, where our resident elders were ushered into the Performing Arts Center (PAC) for an afternoon of entertainment and dining pleasure. Serrano School Bus Driver Leann Dunning had this to say about her fourth year driving the special route, “They have so much fun! And I have fun driving them!” “I have fun too!” exclaimed Laurie Driggers, first-time Senior Christmas Program bus driver.

Future Farmers of America, Serrano Cadet Corps, and volunteers serve seniors supper and dessert in Diamondback Gymnasium.

Master of Ceremony Miguel Raica introduced the Cadet Corps and the Diamondback Singers, setting the stage for The National Anthem and Color Guard. Serrano High School Principal Mrs. Lisa Hansen thanked the talented students and staff of Serrano High for their creativity and hard work throughout the year and on this traditional show. Welcoming the mature audience to the Beautiful Performing Arts Building, Dr. Ryan Holman addressed the crowd, thanking them for returning to Serrano High for this event. After a brief, thankful summary of his life in the Tri-Community, Superintendent Holman turned the show over to Conductor Jonny Dolan and the Diamondback Singers. Performing three traditional Christmas Carols, including a dynamic “Carol of the Bells” and a rousing version of “Jingle Bells,” the vocal ensemble captivated the audience, giving them much holiday cheer.

Serrano Nutrition Staff make ready for Senior Christmas Banquet.

With comic relief, Host Miguel Raica entertained the audience between acts while Janet Eaton and the CTE Stagecraft crew smoothly transitioned between performers. The Diamondback Players, an intermediate-acting class, performed a reading of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” to the delight of the room. Nicely arranged in the program, the Serrano Dance Department, led by Director Kirstin Grijalva, pulled out the stops with four modern dance pieces choreographed to a Christmas-themed score. The Late Nite Snake Bite Jazz Band, Conducted by Matthew Fell, kicked it up a notch with their arrangements of “Little Drummer Boy” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Taking artistic license with the title, “Yo Christmas Tree,” the Jazz group had the house rocking to the traditional holiday favorite. Also performing under Mr. Fell was the Wind Ensemble, with three numbers by students Jarod Hull, Leroy Anderson, and Julia Giroux.

Serrano High School Principal Lisa Hansen, and Event Organizer Traci Steward, choose from dessert table with Swag bags and potted poinsettias in the back-round, ready to give to senior guests.

After the show, the revered group of elders was escorted to the Serrano Gymnasium, where the roasted turkey dinner was served. In an obvious display of hunger, everyone was seating themselves in a prompt manner. Roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dinner salad, and a warm roll were the fare, with a myriad of desserts to choose from. With supper dispatched, the guests were treated to “Swag” gift bags and potted poinsettias. The combination of young talent, and spirited wisdom organized by great leadership, proved a very successful 27th Annual Senior Christmas Program. Jack Crawford, President of the Phelan, Pinon Hills Seniors, agreed. The satisfied senior citizens returned to the awaiting School buses for their journey home. “I think we should do more of this kind of stuff!” said Serrano School Bus Driver Leann Dunning.

Special thanks to The Snowline Unified School District Board of Trustees, Serrano High School Principal Mrs. Lisa Hansen, Serrano High School Students and Staff, Janice Carter and the Nutrition team, Traci Steward, Snowline Transportation, all the CTE programs involved, The Velez/Smith Group and Kiwanis Club for their great Swag bags and our wonderful Seniors Citizens who we love to write about at Tri-Community NewsPlus. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a Happy New Year!

Late Nite Snake Bite, jazzes things up at the 27th Annual Senior Citizen Christmas Program.

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