By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – On an overcast and humid afternoon Aug. 17, Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis held what his office said was its biggest Annual Senior Picnic ever. Over 1,200 seniors from throughout the region gathered at the Scandinavian Athletic Club Park for a traditional BBQ luncheon, Bingo games, raffle prizes and musical entertainment.
The event is hosted by Evangelidis’s office and Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association.
Dignitaries in attendance included Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA 2nd District), Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early, Jr. and State Representative David Muradian, Jr. (R-Grafton).
“I want to commend Sheriff Evangelidis for maintaining this great tradition. This is wonderful where members of our community get together, have a nice BBQ and enjoy themselves,” McGovern said.
“It’s great to come and support Sheriff Lew and the Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association and all that they do here. It’s great to give back to our senior friends,” said Muradian.
Ed and Mary Bombard from Northborough were happy to be at the luncheon. They said that they were having a great time and were especially looking forward to the Bingo.
“It’s a great day to celebrate with our seniors and provide them this extraordinary opportunity to see old and new friends and really appreciate what they’ve done over many decades for our country,” remarked Paul Zekos, president of the Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association.
This year there were over 200 volunteers helping out at the event, from all over Worcester County, including members of the Nichols College football team.
“The Senior Picnic really is one of the most special days I’ve been associated with as Sheriff… Sometimes I have to stop and just take a moment to appreciate the joy that this day brings to so many people,” Evangelidis said. “I’m grateful to the team that puts this together and the volunteers that make this day happen.”
When asked how he felt about the bipartisan support of this event, Evangelidis replied, “One thing I’ve always believed about Worcester County is that maybe we are a little bit different than a lot of places right now but we’ve always had a good bipartisan working relationship across the board. We get along and we work for the common cause. I don’t know if it’s unusual but it sure feels right.”