By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – For 20 years, the Marlborough Rotary Club delivered food baskets to 30 families in need during the holidays. As of 2012, the club has continued its mission to provide community service while helping more residents.
For the third year, the club partnered with the city’s Council on Aging and Girl Scouts when a congregate holiday meal was served Dec. 3 at the Marlborough Senior Center. A number of the 90 guests were residents of the Main Street senior housing complex. The following week, 40 dinners were served at the senior housing complexes on Bolton and Pleasant streets.
Additional dinners were delivered to shut-ins at each location, noted Dave Walton, past president of the Rotary Club. He organized the congregate meal each of the three years
“Anybody who is restricted to their rooms and wants a meal, gets a meal,” he said.
Walton and other volunteers manned the kitchen.
“We had an assembly line with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, stuffing, salad, and apple and pecan pies,” he said. “Stevie’s Eatery provides the food for a reduced cost.”
When the first congregate meal was being planned, Steve Dembro, the eatery’s owner, had reached out to Girl Scouts working toward a cooking badge. He approached Bonny Parlee Goldberg, service unit coordinator, and the Girl Scouts got involved.
“We’re always looking for ways to do service within our community,” Parlee Goldberg said.
“This is one of the populations in our community that the girls love working with.”
Girl Scouts created holiday cards for each place setting, greeted and seated guests, served dinners, and performed several carols.
“The seniors love having the younger girls here,” Parlee Goldberg said. “Our Daisy Scouts, who are 5- and 6-year-olds, really wanted to help. We didn’t tell the little ones that Santa was coming, so they were just as excited as the seniors were.”
Jennifer Claro, director of the Senior Center, confirmed that the Girl Scouts are welcomed helpers.
“The Girl Scouts have such a nice energy,” she said. “We want to be more intergenerational, so we’re really glad to have this partnership with them.”
Claro is grateful that the congregate meal serves more residents.
“We capped it at 90 because that’s how many we can comfortably seat here,” she explained. “We had a waiting list. We’re looking forward to the new senior center with a higher capacity.”
She also expressed gratitude for another benefit of this annual event.
“For a lot of people, coming to this dinner is a first introduction to the senior center” she said. “It really helps people become more familiar with who we are and what we do. Hopefully, it will allow us to reach more people.”