What do you do when you need to kick off a fund-raising season? Have a pageant, of course.
The Pocahontas County Senior Citizens hosted its first annual March for Meals pageant Saturday as a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels.
The Meals on Wheels program delivers meals to seniors three days a week. The seniors are provided with meals for the entire week, including weekends.
Pageant emcee Shay Huffman said the Pocahontas County Meals on Wheels is special, because it takes care of certain four-legged companions, as well.
“[PCSC Executive Director John Simmons] has gotten a grant that provides dog and cat food so when our meals get delivered, we also bring dog and cat food for the furry family members of our seniors, which is a pretty special thing,” Huffman said.
The pageant was divided into three age groups – Sexagenarian, Septuagenarian and Octogenarian. The contestants in each category were asked one question – What does the Senior Citizens program or Meals on Wheels program mean to you? The judges took the answers into consideration when choosing a winner.
Contestants in the Sexagenarian category were Anne Alderman, of Hillsboro; Irene Kaufmann, of Marlinton; and Peggy McCall, of Marlinton. McCall was the winner of the Ms. PCSC March for Meals Sexagenarian title.
McCall is a respite worker with Seneca Health Services and a member of the Marlinton Senior Citizens. She attends Cooktown Church, is a mother of three and grandmother of eight.
“I haven’t had the need to utilize the Meals on Wheels yet, but I do go to each and every center we have in Pocahontas County,” McCall said. “I enjoy socialization there and I enjoy the meals they provide for us. I do know there are people out there that really do need the Meals on Wheels. They probably never even see another person and they look forward to seeing the driver along with the meals they provide. I think it’s very important that we keep Meals on Wheels and the Senior Center.”
Contestants in the Septuagenarian category were Caroline Cassell, of Cass; Linda Gibson, of Marlinton; Angela Hartless, of Hillsboro; Judy Spear, of Bartow; and Ruth Taylor, of Hillsboro. Taylor was the winner of the Ms. PCSC March for Meals Septuagenarian title.
Taylor is a member of the Hillsboro Senior Citizens. She oversees the Hillsboro Heritage Festival, is the former president of the West Virginia Fairs and Festivals, and is involved in many community activities as a volunteer.
“For my part, I started going to Bible study in Hillsboro and I really enjoyed getting together with everybody,” Taylor said. “The Meals on Wheels program is as important for the socialization as it is the amount of food that they have. I think having somebody come and visit them, and they know they’re coming, keeps more people out of nursing homes at less cost of nursing homes.
“I know when my aunt got Meals on Wheels, you would have thought Lefford Kidd was one of her sons because she looked forward to seeing him all the time,” she continued. “The senior services and Meals on Wheels keep more people active mentally and physically than if you just left them on their own.”
Contestants in the Octogenarian category were Nellie Adkison, of Hillsboro; Mary Clutter, of Hillsboro; and Mary Vaughan, of Hillsboro. Adkison was the winner of the Ms. PCSC March for Meals Octogenarian title.
Adkison is a member of the Hillsboro Senior Citizens and Marvin Chapel United Methodist Church. She has three children, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
At the March for Meals fundraising event in Hillsboro last year, Adkison raised more than $400 in the “Rock the Meal” event, where she raised money by rocking in a rocking chair.
“It’s helped me a lot in getting meals three times a week,” Adkison said of Meals on Wheels. “I love going to the senior center. When I don’t get to go, it really hurts me. I love all the people who are there.”
The three royal ladies were joined by a children’s court – Preteen Miss PCSC March for Meals Jaedyn Irvine, Little Mr. PCSC March for Meals Benjamin Workman, Wee Miss PCSC March for Meals Hailley Hoke and Tiny Miss PCSC March for Meals Elena Friel.
The royal court was joined by visiting royalty, Tiny Miss Harvest Festival Whitney Robertson.
Musical entertainment was provided by members of the Green Bank Senior Center Hilltopper’s choir.
Judges for the event were: WV SHIP Director Marcia Meeks, WV SHIP Coordinator Rebecca Gouty and WV BOSS Health and Wellness Debbie Isner.
Upcoming March for Meals events are: Saturday, March 14, 6 p.m. cake bingo at Green Bank Senior Center; Friday, March 20, 6 to 9 p.m. Karaoke night, Green Bank Senior Center; Saturday, March 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., rummage and craft sale and hotdogs with homemade chili, sausage biscuits and barbecue sandwiches at Hillsboro Senior Center; and Sunday, March 29, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., spaghetti dinner at Green Bank Senior Center.
Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org