NORTH ROYALTON –Louis Wachala was the life of the party at Table 4.

“You know what I have in common with a mushroom? I’m a fun guy,” he chuckled, getting a few smiles from the rest of the table.

He may not have much in common with a mushroom, but he did with the several dozen other seniors who gathered to have a good time and usher in the holiday season at the North Royalton Senior Center’s annual Christmas Party hosted this year Dec. 12 at the St. Paul Hellenic Center.

“I’m a party person,” Wachala smiled, sharing his reason for attending. “It’s nice to meet all the people around here and the new faces.”

Emily Perkovic of North Royalton felt the same way.

“The people, the atmosphere. It’s Christmas,” she said.

There were a couple of first timers in attendance happy they came like Marcia Kilburg and June Rabbitt.

“You can get out and celebrate the season with friends. I’ve been partying all weekend,” Kilburg said, referring to several Christmas get togethers.

“I’ve been a member of the senior center since 2002, but I never attended meetings because I was always working. Now that I have free time, I thought I’d join in,” Rabbitt added.

The party commenced with conversation over coffee and appetizers before lunch and cake. “Mr. Sax,” Ron Howard, serenaded the crowd with hits like “Pretty Woman” and “Blueberry Hill”.

A few couples, like Tom and Jo Terranova of North Royalton, seized the moment to take to the dance floor, proving they’ve still got it.

And Christmas came early for several lucky winners who walked away with door prizes donated by community members and businesses.

Santa Claus, played by Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw, even stopped in to join in the festivities, checking to see who’s been naughty and nice and pose for photos.

“I enjoy serving our community and spending time with our seniors. I was honored to don the big red suit and bring some early Christmas cheer at the senior center Christmas party,” he said.

Council President Larry Antoskiewicz and Mayor Bob Stefanik were also there to help spread the Christmas spirit.

“It’s always nice to end the year with the senior Christmas party, spending time with our residents in an informal, festive atmosphere,” Antoskiewicz said. “I wouldn’t miss it.”

“Yes, always a great time, and I’d like to thank St. Paul’s and Brennan’s Catering for having us,” the mayor added.

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