Photo by Daniel Warn: The Eatonville Lions club hosts a free dinner for Seniors every year. Santa greats them as they eat a traditional turkey dinner.
Photo by Daniel Warn: The Eatonville Lions club hosts a free dinner for Seniors every year. Santa greats them as they eat a traditional turkey dinner.
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Each year, the Eatonville Lions Club hosts a free dinner for senior citizens at the Lions Hall in town.

Walt Sandor, chair for the free senior dinner for Eatonville Lions Club, said the event serves up a traditional turkey dinner each year for the seniors, and this year was no exception.

"Mainly, we serve everyone their meals and we try to make it a really nice meal," he said. "We mainly provide an opportunity for the seniors to visit and have fellowship. It's just something nice that we provide for the community."

Sandor said that the event has been going on for at least 30 years, and none of the members of Eatonville Lions receive any sort of compensation for the event.

"It's a great opportunity for fellowship here in town," Sandor said. "It also adds to the dynamic of life here in Eatonville. I mean, it's a small town event that a lot of people look forward to. We enjoy providing it."

Lynn Butler, president of Eatonville Lions Club, said that the event targeted all seniors in the area, regardless of status or stage in life, to come out for the dinner, which was held at 2 p.m.

"I do hope Santa is going to show," she said prior to the event.

She needn't have worried. Santa showed up to the event as soon as the food was served.

Music was provided by Bethany Lutheran choir, accompanied by elementary school music teacher Jason Hunter.

Butler said that the senior dinner is part and parcel to Lions Club International.

"The Lions Clubs exist to be a community resource," she said. "All the events that the Lions Club do are community-based. We give back to our communities. Any event that the Lions hold that generate income that comes from the community, we are by our charter mandated to turn than back to the community." 

Attendee Paula Quirie said that the event is great because she gets to see folks that she doesn't normally see during the year and it provides people with a holiday party to look forward to, an event that helps them get out of the house.

Another attendee, Allen Davis, said he attended the event because he heard it was for seniors. He said the fellowship aspect of the event was a selling point for him.

"I think this event is important because everyone comes together for the holidays, and nobody's alone." he said.

Attendee Paul Treyz said he thinks events like the senior dinner are important for the community.

"The Lions Club honors the elder members of the community for there service to the community in the past," he said. "I came out here to eat today."