HEBER — On any given day, at around noon, senior citizen Gloria Seigmond finishes her household chores and sits to watch television while her husband, Hugo, reads.
But this Monday was different, meaning the Seigmonds moved away from their routine and instead went to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church to be part of the first of many senior luncheons to be held here.
“It’s a balanced meal,” said Hugo Seigmond in Spanish as he set up his punch line. “The only thing that was missing was fried pork in the sandwich,” he said, and everyone at his table laughed.
And happiness such as that felt around the Seigmonds’ table was found also in Teresa Estrada, the event’s coordinator.
Estrada, along 20 volunteers, gathered resources from various governmental and non-governmental agencies to hold this event.
“I’m happy, happy to have our senior program in Heber,” said Estrada, who envisioned this program some two years ago.
“You know, if it wasn’t for the new houses, this town would be 80 percent seniors,” Estrada added in Spanish.
And these seniors, Estrada continued, need to be mentally active, they need to stop watching so much television and they need to interact with each other.
Francisco Lerma, 94, agreed with Estrada.
“Events like this help (our) state of mind,” said Lerma in Spanish adding that senior events “encourage us to keep on living.”
Lerma, known in the community for helping in the church and his neighbors with gardening and similar chores for free, noted the luncheon is also “very good for seniors who are struggling because of the economy — after paying rent and bills, there isn’t much left.”
This subsidized lunch will be held every working day of the week except Thursday and run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
In the future, seniors will also get aerobics classes, health workshops, bingo “and we’ll see what else they may be needing,” said Estrada, recently recognized by the national Latina organization MANA for community service and leadership.
For more information about the luncheon or to volunteer call Teresa Estrada at 760-352-0822 or 760-554-8102.
Staff Writer Alejandro Dávila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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