More than a hundred people gathered on Friday night to celebrate marriage during a special Valentine’s party at the Kenai Senior Center.
The event included a special dinner, video projection and vintage gown dress show.
Carol Bannock, activities/volunteer coordinator for the Kenai Senior Center, said the facility has a different Valentine’s party each year, but this year’s focused on lasting marriages.
“We are focusing on celebrating unions that have been together for 50-plus years,” Bannock said.
Photos of couples who have been together since as far back as 1944 were displayed on the center’s walls and in its newsletter, while a video with couples’ interviews was played.
After dinner and dessert, which was served by the members of the Boys and Girls Club Keystone group, a wedding gown fashion show took place.
“It’s the crown jewel of the night,” Bannock said. “(It’s) a mostly vintage wedding dress style show.”
Bannock said several people lent their wedding dresses to the center, which were then modeled by community members during the show.
“Some of (the dresses) we borrowed, some of them are not so vintage, but they’re still beautiful, of course,” Bannock said. “A few of them are from a while back.”
Bannock credited the night’s success to The First Baptist Church of Kenai, who helped sponsored the event.
“The staff over there has worked very hard to do the decorations and pull the style show together and get a program together,” Bannock said. “It’s been fun.”
Howard Hill, who attends many of the center’s parties with his wife, Kit, said many people don’t understand how important the center’s events are to seniors in the community.
“There are a lot of senior individuals here without families and I found out what this was like a couple of years ago when (my wife) was visiting down south,” Hill said. “I was here alone for Thanksgiving and (the senior center) just makes a lot of difference in the way you feel. It’s really easy to get depressed when you’re by yourself for the holidays.”
Trish Roderick, who attends the center’s parties regularly, said she always looks forward to the events.
“We’re really excited,” Roderick said. “This center really knows how to throw a party. We look forward to every holiday — Easter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving — they just really go all out. It’s a lot of fun.”
Reach Ian Foley at email@example.com.