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Local Group Helps Seniors Celebrate Christmas
Organizer Darlene Barber-Martinez, far left, and other members of Central Valley Community Resources, her local non-profit organization, serve local seniors attending the Christmas edition of the weekly luncheon on Friday, Dec. 16 at the Riverbank Community Center. Ric McGinnis/The News

A group of local senior citizens met for their regular Friday luncheon this past week and celebrated Christmas with hot food, warm gifts and music of the holiday season on Dec. 16.

Organized by Darlene Barber-Martinez and her Central Valley Community Resources, CVCR, non-profit group, they provide a hot meal and an opportunity to get together for senior citizens in the area on a weekly basis.

Just before lunch was served, the group was serenaded by a choir from Riverbank's New Life Church with Christmas carols and other songs of the season. They brought maracas, tambourines and other instruments so the senior citizens in attendance could play along with them.

Along with sharing the lunch, music and camaraderie, there was also gift-giving in the spirit of the holidays. During the event, those seniors attending the event received a packet containing knit caps, gloves and scarves to help them ward off the winter cold. The presents were delivered seemingly just in time, as temperatures dipped to freezing over the weekend.

The Friday luncheon won’t be staged this week, Barber-Martinez said, because Riverbank Cares will be distributing food and other materials to local families for the holidays on Friday, Dec. 23. The local luncheon will return on Friday, Dec. 30.