By Lucie Roy
Morinville – Approximately 60 residents from Heritage Place Lodge, along with tenants from the self-contained units and Lions Manor attended a Dinner Gala at Heritage Lodge Dec. 9, organized by Mary Benson, Heritage Lodge’s new program coordinator.
Heritage Lodge Manager Lisa Bertschi said this was Mary’s first gala event. The lodge has always done a Christmas dinner, but this was the first time for a Christmas Gala. “In the past the entertainment and dinner was all in one big day but they have changed it this year,” Bertschi said, adding the lodge has had almost daily entertainment for the month of December with more to follow. “This event was a huge success. I am extremely proud of my employees for the care and compassion they show to the residents, now and throughout the year.”
And a gala it was. As the residents, tenants and guests entered the festive-themed dining room for the Friday evening affair, they were seated to fully decorated tables, complete with a centre piece and silver decor plates. The appetizer and salad was followed by a main course of stuffed baked potato and prime rib. The decorative invites had been sent with an RSVP and an indication of how they wanted their prime rib prepared. As the management, staff and Mayor Lloyd Bertschi served the main course, the bright red stars on the tables were indicative of the rare and medium rare plates of prime rib to be served.
“They catered to all needs as they also had special plates for some.” said participant Mary Benson.
The eye-catching dessert was prepared by Asitha Kalinga, a relief cook. The upside down ice cream cone contained ice cream and had thick green colored whipping cream around the outside to make it look like a Christmas tree, along with sprinkles, and sauces for dipping on the side of the plate and miniature marshmallows.
The full course meal was followed by gift-wrapped after dinner mints and coffee. Lawrence Giffin of Coach’s Corner was the volunteer bartender tending to the Toonie Bar and assisting the staff members wherever possible.
The dinner was followed by a sing along and music from members of the Morinville Christian Fellowship Church. Lead by Kathy Sandmaier, they also provided the residents and tenants with corsages. The songs included Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Jingle Bells and Little Drummer Boy.
During the event the management and staff were thanked with a huge applause and a thank you from those in attendance.