It’s a South Pasadena tradition. Every year, the day before Thanksgiving, the South Pasadena Police Department sponsors a full Thanksgiving spread for the seniors who come to South Pasadena Senior Center. The event is so large it is held at the War Memorial Building on Fair Oaks Avenue where well over a hundred seniors are treated to turkey, gravy, stuffing, all the fixings and of course pumpkin pie, all served by volunteers and our brave officers of SPPD. Chief Art Miller initiated the sponsorship of the dinner four years ago on behalf of the South Pasadena Police Officers Association.
It’s a community exchange that both the seniors and the police officers appreciate. Says Officer Brian Solinsky, “this is a chance for the police department to reach out to our senior community to show them that they do matter and we really appreciate all that they have taught us throughout the years; they are our grandparents and parents, our friends and our neighbors and I think it’s a good opportunity for the police department to, in a small way, let them know how much we appreciate them.” Solinsky goes on to say, “we want them to know they are a vital part of our community and also gives us a chance to get to know each of them by name and in turn they get to know us by name. I know from the people I talk to that it brings some comfort to know the officers who patrol their neighborhood. This is what makes our community unique; South Pasadena still has that hometown feel where the police and the citizens are still really connected. That’s what I like about this community and that’s what I like about this event.”
Community Services Supervisor, Liliana Torres, welcomed all the seniors saying, “We want you to know how much we appreciate you. The Senior Center is for you, it’s about you; it’s making sure you stay active once you retire. I find myself feeling extremely grateful for managing your Senior Center and having the opportunity to bring you programs that enhance your lives. We’re small but we’re very powerful and I hope we will reflect on how rich we are. We are rich with family and friends which is absolutely priceless.”
Torres introduced our new city manager, Stephanie DeWolfe, who said, “this is my third week on the job and I’m thrilled to be here in South Pasadena and so glad to see all of you here today. Happy Thanksgiving!” DeWolfe then set about helping to serve and chat with the guests alongside Mayor Michael Cacciotti and City Council Member, Bob Joe.
Senator Portantino who was there with his South Pasadena representative Evette Kim, said, “I just love South Pasadena. I love coming here, you’ve got an awesome council, a new city manager and a great senior center that does such great work. I’m proud to be your state Senator. Becky from Judy Chu’s office is here and along with your city representatives and police officers we all want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
The guests were entertained by the smooth sounds of the Jazz Continental Trio who played cool classics like Satin Doll and Take The A Train. It was a warm and festive event for everyone there as they all felt the true spirit of community and Thanksgiving.