Rotary Senior Brunch Returns after 2-Year Hiatus
The Franklin Rotary Club presented its Senior Valentine’s Brunch at Central Park Terrace after a 2-year break due to the pandemic.
By Cody Rogers
Saturday, February 11, was sunny and bright and, inside the community room at Central Park Terrace adjacent to the town’s senior housing, the mood was decidedly festive.
For the fifth year running, the Franklin Rotary Club sponsored and served a Valentine’s Day brunch that could only be described as sumptuous thanks to the Club’s talents, in particular former president Dan Gentile, who is a passionate and practiced cook.
While the majority of the 50 or so seniors served were residents of the nearby homes, all seniors in town were invited, and many came, the reputation of the event having been well established. The Rotary team, about 10 people in total, arrived just after 8 am to set up and decorate, providing favors at each table, holiday-themed table settings, and “age appropriate” music from a large sound system that had many humming along.
Gentile’s signature ham and veggie frittatas took longer to cook than expected but no one seemed to mind – there was plenty of good company and laughter and conversation filled the air.
But when the dinner bell sounded, figuratively at least, everyone jumped to get in line. Fortunately, there was a lot to choose from: the two kinds of frittatas, French toast `casserole’ (with real maple syrup), bacon, fried potatoes, muffins, pastries, juices, and, of course, coffee. And there was plenty. So much, in fact, that the Rotary offered takeout containers to anyone wanting to continue their repast later.
Rotary member Diane Padula said her father, John Padula, had started the tradition of providing special meals for seniors and, she said, she and her sister take special pleasure in helping to continue the program, which also features a pasta extravaganza later in the year.
With its motto of Service Above Self, members of the Franklin Rotary meet at The Rome Restaurant on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m., and say “We welcome those who want to meet new friends while doing good in our communities.”