Senior Dining meets daily

From left to right down the right hand side of the table: Mark Hosch (arm is in the photo only), Jan Worden, Nicki Ruud, Lila Kuecker, Roger Vetsch, Grechen Buegge, Ira Hammell, Jim Hammell, Greg Weichert, Lavone Weichert, Joyce Tewes, Dick Flatin and Bernie Pieper. Also attending on the day of the photo, but not pictured, was Josie Gavin.

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

Each weekday, a group of between a dozen to 15 seniors gather at Elsie’s for lunch, laughs and companionship.

“You make some good friends along the way,” said Roger Vetsch.

The group would like to increase their numbers and expand their connections and friendships.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Joyce Tewes. “I think the big thing is people think that Senior Dining is only for low income citizens. That isn’t the case at all.”

In fact, the only requirement is that you be over 60 years old.

“We want to get the word out that we want more people to join us,” said Vetsch. “In Eitzen, they get 25-30 people a day. That’s what we’d like to see here.”

The group knows there are people out there who are on the fence about coming.

“I just talked to some friends of mine and asked them ‘why don’t you come?,”’ said Tewes. “They said ‘we’ve been thinking about it.’”

The cost is whatever a person is willing to pay.

“For me, I pay $35 for 10 tickets,” said Vetsch. “That’s seems to be a comfortable price for folks. $3 to $3.50.”

Meal tickets are available for purchase at Merchants Bank in Caledonia. The money is then sent to SEMCAC from the bank itself.

From there, Elsie just asks that you sign up for the days you’d like to come so she can accurately plan her meals.

“You get a full meal, a good full meal,” said Vetsch. “Dinner, drink and a desert for a fair price.”

Vetsch said the dessert options are a big hit with the group.

“Delicious ice-cream, cake, cookies,” he said.

Friendships formed

“They’re all really good people,” said Tewes of the people she dines with on a regular basis. “You come for the food, but the friends keep you coming back.”

“There is a lot of camaraderie,” said Vetsch. 

Sometime, those who like to, will remain after the lunch and play a game of cards. 

The group has been gathering at Elsies for over two years.

Prior to that, they had space at the United Methodist Church as well as Whispering Pines and the elementary school.

“We really like it here at Elsie’s,” said Vetsch. “We hope more people will come and join us.”

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