Clovis Rotary project brings Christmas cheer to seniors

Clovis Rotary Club members and CUSD students sing Christmas carols to residents at Golden Living Center, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. RON SUNDQUIST/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

Clovis Unified School District students and members of the Clovis Rotary Club spent their Saturday morning making the holiday season brighter for senior citizens.

As part of its annual tradition, the club set out to make Christmas stockings and sing Christmas carols for the residents of Golden Living Center and Sierra Villa Assisted Living facilities.

Rotary members and students from local Interact Club chapters met on Nov. 26 to decorate the stockings and fill them with socks, toothbrushes, a comb, lotion, Kleenex, candy and a card.

Then, on Saturday, Dec. 8, the group of 40 gathered at the nursing homes to deliver the stockings and sing Christmas carols to over 80 residents.

Some seniors sung along with the Bob Bergstrom-led choir while others sat quietly enjoying the moment.

“It was a great day for all,” said Tommy Warner, event organizer and wife of longtime Clovis Rotary member Gary Warner. “The residents are so grateful for our [annual] visit.”

The idea for the project was born about 28 years ago when spouses of rotarians decided to start a service project that would focus on the elderly during the holidays.

“It started with about 10 Rotary spouses in one of the member’s homes,” Warner explained. “They purchased red felt, cut the stockings, sewed them, decorated them, filled them and then delivered them.”

The student volunteers came into the picture about 15 years ago when Rotary members reached out to local schools for help with the project.

Once everyone is on board, the team meets at the home of Frank and Leslie Small to decorate the stockings, fill candy bags, sign cards and enjoy a time of fellowship before Tommy and her husband ship out the goods.

“It truly is a good feeling to step back, slow down and move away from our own busy days and bless each resident,” said Warner. “In turn, we are blessed by the welcoming smiles and hugs we get from residents.”