IRVINGTON, NJ — Mayor Tony Vauss and Health Department Director Dr. Monique Griffith joined forces with Irvington Senior Citizens Center manager Gloria Chisun to host the annual pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner and Turkey Giveaway at the ISCC building on Springfield Avenue on Friday. Nov. 9.
“We’re in our illustrious Senior Citizens Center, on behalf of having a little holiday cheer and share a little time with our seniors. We’re going to be giving away over 100 turkeys to our seniors and just have a good time and spend some time with them,” said Vauss on Friday, Nov. 9. “I’m talking turkey, they’re cooking turkey and we’re going over to all the seniors houses and getting something to eat.”
Vauss said breaking bread and sharing a meal with his senior constituents is about more than spreading holiday cheer and goodwill, even though that is a very important part of it.
“We usually have several events where we feed our seniors throughout the holidays and also the community at large, but mostly the folks in need, who need it the most,” said Vauss. “We usually make sure that we have set programs and then, later on, when we have our tree-lighting ceremony, we give out toys to the kids. And then, every other year, we go throughout the town, in addition to that, on Christmas Eve and we give out toys.”
Public Safety Director Tracy Bowers was also at the Irvington Senior Citizens Center for the annual event, but he said he wasn’t there to arrest anybody. Instead, he was there with a group of young people led by Fire Division Lt. Danny Cruz.
“I had to make sure the turkeys are safe,” joked Bowers on Friday, Nov. 9. “They are our Explorers and we do try to have them come out and be a part of the community because, at the end of the day, the seniors and the youth, our destiny is tied to each other, so we always want to get them together in the same room, so that way we could enjoy each other’s company. Lt. Danny Cruz supervises them, so it’s like 15 of them and, throughout the year, we try to get more and we’re just looking for them to be productive people in our communities and, hopefully, become firefighters and police officers.”
At large Councilwoman October Hudley was also at the Irvington Senior Citizens Center for the occasion.
“I’m here also to celebrate this holiday weekend with the seniors,” said Hudley on Friday, Nov. 9. “I’m so grateful for the Senior Center. It’s really been expanding, the enrollment has really increased and that’s because the center provides all sorts of activities. It’s also a welcoming environment. This gives the seniors someplace to go enjoy themselves, where they can socialize with one another. Instead of just sitting home alone, they can come out here and meet new people.”
Vauss said Thanksgiving is traditionally viewed as the start of the national holiday season and holding events such as the pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner and Turkey Giveaway are a good way to kick it off.
“So we’re looking forward to a fruitful year,” said Vauss. “I’m excited about the year we’ve had, whether it be public safety or redevelopment. I’m just excited about the direction the township is going.”