By John Fitts
In addition to the festive atmosphere and social gathering aspects, the Canton Senior Center’s annual Winter Wonderland on Friday was especially meaningful for the family of late Canton resident Gary Bruce Youell.
An entrepreneur, Gary’s spirit of giving back was also so strong that Connecticut based travel company Tauck, for which he was a board member, re-dubbed time set aside for community service as a “Gary day.”
His daughter Amber is now Europe Operations Manager for Tauck River Cruising and Friday was an especially meaningful Gary day as she, four siblings, mother Trish and two grandchildren helped out at the event, singing, serving, setting up and more.
For a family spread out across the globe as far as Switzerland and Dubai it was meaningful to be together and give back at an event they discovered their parents had attended in the past.
“It just feels special to serve this community in a way that meant something to him,” Amber Youell said.
Several family members sang holiday favorites, embodying the spirit of the late keyboardist, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter.
Friday marked the 8th annual Winter Wonderland event at the Senior Center and attendees from the Farmington Valley, Burlington and West Hartford enjoyed a meal of chicken marsala, green bean casserole & mashed potatoes. Cookies were made local seniors and other Sponsors included Home Helpers Homecare Agency; River Ridge at Avon; Middlewoods of Farmington; and The Residence at Brookside.
In addition to the Youell, several other community members and senior center enthusiasts volunteered their time before, during and after the event. And for many attendees it is an important social gathering.
“We toasted with sparkling cider, saying goodbye to 2016, remembering those challenges that we faced that made us stronger as well as the people we lost whose memory we will carry on into the New Year,” said Claire M. Côté, Canton’s director of Senior and Social Services. “We toasted to the possibilities, and the challenges we know we’ll face in the New Year, and those of our Neighbors, that will bring us closer together.”
See more about the late Gary Youell here.