Elder Bernice Phillips receives a gift card as well as a gift from SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier.
Recognition of Community Elders Age 70 and Over
By Richie Corrales
Au-Authm Action News

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Senior Services Department held a celebration at the Community Building on September 18 to recognize Community members ages 70 and older. Seniors and their guests attended the recognition event, where they noticed that the Community Building’s main meeting room had been transformed into an elegant space with white drape hanging from the ceiling and fancy dinnerware set on the tables.

The evening started with SRPMIC President Delbert Ray, Sr. providing a welcome address and prayer.

A dinner was prepared for the seniors of pit beef, squash with cheese, and beans served with tortillas. Socializing was encouraged throughout the event, and entertainment was provided by Casino Arizona’s Elvis impersonator.

Approximately 47 seniors and guests were in attendance. The oldest male was Fillmore Carlos and the oldest female was Bernice Phillips; both received gifts presented to them by SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier.

Making the Community Building a Comfortable Place to Dine

The Community Building was decorated for the event by Ardell Moore, executive secretary for Tribal Council administration. “This was the first year I decorated for the event, but it was my decorating of the Lehi Center for the annual Lehi Holiday Brunch that caught the attention of the person who recommended me to the committee—thanks Tweety,” said Moore.

“The SADCAC (Senior and Disabled Community Advisory Committee) gave me free rein to decorate. My overall goal was to make the Salt River Community Building not look like the Salt River Community Building. I’ve always had a pet peeve of seeing the kitchen when an event is taking place. I’ve seen how ceiling drape transforms the look and feel of a room, and I’ve always wanted to try it. [This] dinner gave me the opportunity to do so.”

To eliminate her pet peeve, Moore created a drape that separated the kitchen from the rest of the room. “I also incorporated a welcome table and beverage station which complemented the décor. I thought white, cream and gold would be nice regal colors to use to honor the elders.”

Those who acted as servers, the ladies from the Day Labor Program and members of the SRPMIC Youth Council, were requested to wear white to make the event feel more formal.

For their contributions to this event, thanks go to Christina and Harold Miguel, Ardell Moore, Elouise Richards, Aniceya Miles, Carrie Richards, Sanuye Richards, Elyse Lewis and Day Labor Program members Lynette Enos, Tracey Stacey-Pope, Pamela Velasco, Christina Lopez, Valerie Mackett, Alicia Jauregui, Andrea Stepp, Avis Fredrick, De’Angela Alvarez, Ella Valles, Juanita Terry and Stevie Sine. Veronica Ramirez and Antonia Augustin assisted with the menu cards. Cookies by “Pie” baked the individual treats for the elders, and Cecelia “Tweety” Antone catered the meal.

The elders age 70 and older received gift cards from the Council. Elder Jonah Ray ended the event with a prayer and song for the seniors. Also, families and friends of the seniors were able to stop by a photo booth that was set up to take photos of couples and groups.

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