By Anna DeWine-Bolton
XENIA — Greene County Council on Aging hosted their annual Holiday Gift Soiree on Wednesday at the Xenia Community Center.
The party began Tuesday night when more than one hundred guests showed up for the two-hour opening of the event.
According to Tim Brickey, Senior Center Liaison, and other staff members, this holiday tradition started almost ten years ago. Beginning as a small event and eventually relocating to the Community Center, it has grown every year.
Wednesday saw at least one hundred more as the annual open house commenced from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We try to make it welcoming and fun,” said Lisa Quesne, who works as a case manager.
But the planning began nearly six months ago, when snow was nowhere in sight, for the party that Quesne and her creative team worked to create.
“It’s an effort of many people,” Quesne said, as she walked through the hall, its walls covered with drapes that she had carefully painted with white trees and cardinals.
Clients and community members crafted and donated all of the items for the event. Wood hangings, knitted scarves and mittens, jellies and jams, aprons and more filled the County Room. In the Vintage Room next door, an elaborately-handcrafted doll house sat in the middle of the room, surrounded by old fashioned toys and Christmas trees hung with angel ornaments.
“It’s a fundraiser but it’s also a thank you to the community for their support because we are a levy program,” Quesne said.
Visitors of all ages filled every table in the main room, as they sat, eating cookies and drinking cider.
“A big part of the event is the fellowship, for people to sit with each other and share holiday memories,” Brickey said. “We want it to be a whole experience.”
Reach Anna DeWine-Bolton at 937-502-4498.