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Seniors’ party to go ahead as drive-through event

Carol Clarke is to host a Senior’s Appreciation Party in partnership with the Bermuda Overseas Mission (File photograph)

Seniors will be showered with free gifts, food and entertainment as part of a Christmas drive through event next month.

Carol Clarke, who has organised a festive season seniors’ party every year for more than two decades, said yesterday the Seniors’ Appreciation Day would accommodate 150 people.

Ms Clarke, 62, who owns Clarke’s Tuxedo Shop on North Shore Road, Pembroke, said the event would feature tables of food parcels and gifts.

She added yard between her store and her nearby home would be decorated in red, silver and gold and angel statuettes, and “Santa and his elves” would also put in an appearance.

Ms Clarke said: “All of this is to give back to seniors what they have given to Bermuda.

“We will have chicken, peas and rice, coleslaw and beets. That will be given away to 150 seniors – that’s all we can do this year.

“However, I have kept a list of everyone who comes to the party each year and I will be giving them all gifts wrapped in silver.

“Only one person can collect for each group. I will keep it a surprise but I will say, you will be blessed beyond measure.

“We would like to thank all our donors and sponsors, and everyone who has played a pivotal role in making this event happen.”

Ms Clarke said the parties, held at St Paul AME Church in Pembroke in recent years, catered to 500 seniors in normal times.

But she added the Covid-19 pandemic meant she had to reduce the numbers this year and turn it into a drive-through event.

Ms Clarke started the parties in 1998 at Admiralty House in Pembroke with the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, where she was the first black woman to be president.

The event grew each year and had to move to larger premises.

Ms Clarke left the Kiwanis Club in 2012, but continued to organise the parties and joined forces with the Bermuda Overseas Missions in 2015.

In 2011, Ms Clarke received the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour Award for "giving selfless service to the community and to seniors in particular, over many years“.

Ms Clarke, who has been the pianist at Bethel AME Church in Flatts for 40 years, said: “When my father Randal Bradford passed away in 1983 I wanted to give back to give back to seniors because of the fact that I had been brought up around seniors.

“I would like to see this go on but I would like it to go from generation to generation.

I would say to the young people, press on regardless and your rewards will come.

“I am a very humble person and what I do, I do from the heart."

Ms Clarke has assisted in serving more than 35,000 meals to seniors over the years.

The event will be held on December 5 from 10am to noon at her North Shore property in Pembroke.

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Published November 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 17, 2020 at 6:49 pm)

Seniors’ party to go ahead as drive-through event

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