During the holiday season of 2010 an idea was formed within a few of the human service agencies on the Central Peninsula. Access Alaska, Frontier Community Services, Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program and Nikiski Senior In-Home Services collaborated on what was coined as the “Senior Star Tree.” It is similar to the Angel trees for children with the only difference being that it was intended specifically for seniors and their caregivers.
The first two Senior Star trees were generously hosted by the Soldotna Little League Bingo Hall and both were very successful.
This year, for the Third annual Senior Star tree event, we had an additional host for a second tree — Old Town Bingo in Kenai. There were also a few new agencies participating: Consumer Direct Personal Care Agency, Hospice of the Central Peninsula, and Tyotkas Elder Center (which originally joined in the collaboration last year).
On behalf of these agencies I would like to extend our thanks to Vicki VinZant, Michael Cook, and Heidi Hanson from the Soldotna Little League Bingo and Peggy Baxter, Amy Petterson, Elizabeth Sinadjan, Ellen Segura, and Rio Custodio from Old Town Bingo for all their support and invaluable help in organizing the event this year.
We especially want to thank the many generous bingo players and members of the community who took time out of their schedules to purchase and wrap the gifts suggested on each star.
Too often all the negatives of life seem to attract more attention than the small acts of kindness that the stars on the Senior Star trees represented. The people in our community are generous and caring, and there will be many seniors and caregivers better off for that during this holiday season.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Senior Star tree this Christmas. The generosity of our small towns is remarkable, and something to be proud of.