Lakeland’s seniors pack a patriotic party

Lakeland logo copyLakeland’s International Harvester Managerial Clubhouse was draped in red, white and blue, for the Seniors 55+ annual Stars & Stripes Dinner on June 16. The event, sponsored by Saint Francis Hospital Bartlett and Trustmark Bank, drew about 50 guests, many of them in patriotic clothing. They enjoyed an evening of entertainment and a chance to win the “Best Patriotic Dressed” award.

Retired Chaplain Randy Brown presented the benediction, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Veterans in attendance were asked to remain standing to be recognized with applause. All guests stood again and joined in patriotic harmony, as singer/keyboardist and event entertainer Charles Norman performed the national anthem.

Pink Flamingo Catering provided a traditional patriotic buffet of pulled pork, buns, slaw, barbecue beans, chips, and banana pudding, along with chicken fingers donated by Zaxby’s Lakeland, lasagna and a variety of desserts.

Hit after hit of popular tunes from the ’50s and ’60s kept things lively, as many took to the dance floor. Occasionally, the tunes slowed down so couples could share in a slow dance or two.

The “Best Patriotic Dressed” prize, a $20 gift card, was awarded to Dick Rush, 93, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was honorably dressed from head to toe in his military uniform.Kay Rush, his wife, was dressed in red, white and blue and wore a hand-crafted sign pinned to her back, proudly displaying, “4th of July Baby.” She was born on Independence Day, and she wasn’t the only one there with a personal stake in the holiday. Karl Koch announced that he also was born on the Fourth of July.

Ticket drawings for prizes were held throughout the evening. Donated prizes included a Victory Lane BBQ gift basket filled with a variety of rubs, sauces, a Koozie and T-shirt; three $10 Cracker Barrel gift cards; four VIP passes to Memphis Botanic Garden; two bags of pecans courtesy of the Lakeland Lions Club; one $40 Safety Nails gift card; a $25 gift card for Lakeland Cleaners; and more.