Starting Out the Holiday Right: Fourth of July Breakfast
By Diane M. Loeffler
At 9:20 the parking lot at the Community Hall was full. There were cars and carts in every spot on the lot and the overflow area near the sports complex were almost full as well. People walked from their cars greeting neighbors and entered the center. Linda and John Bowker were at the ticket counter for the 9:00-11:30 shift. Linda smiled as she handed me a ticket. “The turnout has been fabulous!”
After picking up our tickets, we joined a line that passed tables with displays set up by the Sun City History Society and information on how to join the society. There were flyers requesting information from second and third generation residents of Sun City Center. Another table was for the 50/50 table. Half of the money was to be split among 3 lucky winners. The other half was to be set aside for entertainment for CA members including entertainment for next year’s Fourth of July celebration.
Soon we were at the food server tables. Runners were constantly bringing hot, fresh pans of sausage, eggs and pancakes to the servers. Strawberries were offered to diners as well.
Along one wall, volunteers could be seen cooking pancakes, eggs and sausage. Peeking around the corner, you could see people measuring and mixing batter, washing dishes and scurrying around doing various tasks.
Table after table was full of Community Association Members and their guests. Many of them were decked out in patriotic colors. Decorations graced every table. Jan Bassett provided the flag centerpieces free of charge. Looking around, it was not surprising to learn that volunteers were in the hall for up to seven hours the day before setting up tables and making sure everything was in place for the Fourth of July.
On the stage, members of the Organ Society played a wide variety of songs. A huge screen in one corner displayed a slide show of Sun City Center Veterans and the branch in which they served. Everywhere, volunteers could be seen bringing cups of orange juice, pitchers of water and jugs of coffee.
One volunteer, Robert Black, was a familiar face to many in the crowd. He was on the Sun City Center Board of Directors for four years. Black, whose 87th birthday was the next day, commented, “I have always been a volunteer. I started out that way. I’ll continue that way. I think you volunteer because it makes you feel good as well as what you do for other people. It’s the American way of neighbors helping neighbors.” He concluded with an important point, “This community functions on volunteers. Always has. Always will.”
This year’s breakfast was co-chaired by Joanne and Sam Sudman. Sam is currently the Vice President of the Community Association. Joanne and Sam were both busy helping the servers, but stopped long enough for Joanne to say that she had 140 volunteers by June 1. They and the other volunteers planned to feed 1,400 people. As of 9:30, 600 residents and guests had already eaten.
Richard (Dick) Pierce sat at one table wearing his uniform. He moved to SCC in March of 1992 and was looking forward to his 90th birthday on July 18. He spoke about his wonderful experience on his Honor Flight trip and about his years at Sun City Center. He currently lives in the Courtyards and was planning to go to their luncheon and sing-a-long. He was proud to have volunteered for many organizations in Sun City Center including the guardianship club and SCC Ride.
At the same table was Bob Russell. He said he arrived at just the right time and was able to walk right in and get his breakfast. he is usually at the Shrine Convention this time of year and was happy to be able to be at the breakfast this year. “It was a great breakfast. The price was right.” He then said, “I am also a member of the local Shrine Club, and we put on a breakfast twice a year: before Easter and in October. We have a great community here. Very supportive.” A former human resource employee from the Panama Canal, he was looking forward to meeting with the Panama Canal Society later in the month.
At the same table was Jake (James) Smith who has lived here for one year. He is from Augusta, Georgia and taught at the middle school level after a career in the military. He remarked that SCC is quite a change from being with middle schoolers. “I like it here. It is growing on me…everything is so convenient. I’ve never see anything like it….I’m very pleased.”
At another table new resident, Marlene Hollander said, “I love it here. Four months ago I was knee deep in snow.” She added, “My brother and sister-in-law live here as well.”
If you plan to be in town during the Fourth of July next year, be sure to attend the breakfast and consider being a volunteer.
SCC has fun on the 4th
By Diane M. Loeffler
Independence Day celebrations in Sun City Center centered on the north campus. The outdoor pool is always a popular place on sunny afternoons and it was especially busy on the Fourth of July. Many C.A. Members invited their children and grandchildren to join them in the pool since the CA expanded the children’s hours for the holiday celebration.
Some guests were from nearby towns. Lithia residents Amy Klukoff and her daughters, Jayden and Zoe frequently visit her mother, CA resident Judy Kramer. Others guests came from a distance. Perhaps traveling the furthest were Lazel and Hilel who came from Israel to see their grandfather, Sun City Center resident Tuva Bachur.
A Karaoke Station was set up under the pool area awning. Some of the singers were obviously very experienced at singing in public, such as Lenore Kennedy who used to sing at piano bars. Other singers were less experienced. A few admitted to being a bit nervous, but everyone was having fun. Nearby, free ice cream was dished out.
Meanwhile, by the gazebo, people sat in golf carts and on lawn chairs while listening to The Expression Duo who sang and played songs such as the Little Big Town favorite, On the Pontoon. There was even some dancing.
Across the lawn, customers lined up at the tent of C & J Concessions where they purchased hot dogs, smoked sausage, french fries, chips on a stick, cold drinks and other fair-style food. If you recognized the woman behind the counter, perhaps you are a customer at American Momentum Bank where Charlotte K. Clark is Vice President and Banking Center Sales Manager. She and her husband, Alan Clark, do local events. Alan’s mother was in the carnival business all of her life, so an interest in concessions is in his blood.
In addition to C.A. Members, other familiar faces were seen. Deputy Merry came to the breakfast and the afternoon events. Community Association Manager, Lynn Reitz brought her family to enjoy the day’s events. She resides in St. Petersburg with her husband, Doug, and son, Richard. Richard excitedly said, “This is my first time here. I really like it!” We hope that they and all the residents and guests of the Community Association had a great day and look forward to doing it all again next year.