By Dr. Ginger Gabriel
Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
It’s 6 a.m. at the Club San Moritz at Lake Gregory. You know it’s Tuesday or Thursday morning because Chefs Tina, Ali, Diana and Lorrie are there putting their hearts and souls into preparing lunch for their beloved seniors on our mountain.
Chef Tina Fox also owns and runs “Fox on the Mountain,” a popular catering business, working with likes of the Lake Gregory Company and Pine Rose Weddings.
“I have loved serving my seniors these last six years,” said Head Chef Tina, “even including the last year and half that we have done ‘Grab and Go’ drive-through meals. It’s better now that we can see the seniors in person.
“I love it when the seniors look me in the eye and say, ‘Thank you for serving us such delicious meals.’” Chef Tina said. “I know they have enjoyed it and I know some rely on it. Terri Rubio, the contract dietician and nutritionist, and I try to cook comfort food, while meeting the county requirements and sourcing country-approved ingredients and vendors.”
As this reporter joined in the yummy meal, age being the only qualifier, I interviewed some of the other 65 participants, asking, “Why did you come today?”
Jeni said, “I love coming. It is so much fun. It keeps me going.”
Barbara chimed in: “I come at 11:30 to get this special table. I pick up two other friends and we want to sit together at a table.”
Jerry said that he gets there early to get a good parking space. His brother George laughed and said, “No, it’s because we get more time to visit with other people.” I noticed that theirs is an all-man table and they seemed to have plenty to talk about – much chatting and plenty of laughter.
Pat and Hank Jagt said, “It was such a long time that we had to shelter in place. We’re so eager to get out and see our friends.” They also made sure they got there by 11:30 so they could pick their table.
Marci Collier is a favorite emcee at the luncheons. She has games to be played and prizes to be won. Many of the seniors get a kick out of winning the 50-50 lottery or seeing if there is a sticker on their chair informing them they have won a prize. There is a lot of cheering and laughter going on.
There is room for more mountain seniors to come enjoy the meal. There are no requirements for participation, other than being over 60, or having a spouse over 60. Apparently, no other senior center on the mountain offers hot meals. We can thank Penny Shubnell and her tireless team of trustees, committee chairs and other volunteers for that. Some of them are: Wayne, Jean, Marci, Kate, Tom, June, Robin, Betty, Scott and, of course, Veronica and “Cande.”
I was talking to a senior at the post office just after the lunch. We were interrupted by another patron: “How do I find out about these lunches and activities? It sounds like fun!”
There are several ways: Any senior over 60 can come to the lunch at the San Moritz Lodge any Tuesday or Thursday at about 11:30. Lunch is served at noon. You will not be asked how much money you make or what kinds of aid you receive! Just fill out a form – the club gets partially reimbursed from the county for your meal – and get a name tag so you can start meeting other seniors.
Join the Crest Forest Senior Citizens Club, located at 24658 San Moritz Drive in Crestline. For $20 a year you will be added to email (or snail mail). I found the application on their website (crestlineseniorcitizens.org).
All activities at the Senior Center are open to the public, especially if you are over 60.
Visit their website or call (909) 338-5036 for more information.