Submitted by Amy Brusky
Cypress Lodge became a hum of activity as they prepared for their 2021 Christmas party held on the afternoon of Dec. 9. Decorations at the Lodge were completed with staff and residents working together. The scent of spices wafted through the halls as the cooking department, under the competent Sheila Frey, prepared for the party luncheon.
Jeanie Culligan, co-owner and recreation director, Linda Hanline, had their minds whirling with plans for the day. Thursday, after dishes were cleared away, the large dining room was stripped of its tables and the chairs were arranged in a semi-circle with a space left for dancing.
Visitors starting coming at one o’clock to take part in the first event of the day. The Lodge filled quickly and families, residents and staff danced to the wonderful rhythm of the popular dance band, the Grandma and Grandpas. After an hour dancing, the crowd reversed their chairs to face the rear of the dining room. Here an auction table was set up.
Donations from families, residents and community members were set up for sale. The auction sale was composed of knitted scarves, mitts, gloves, a painting, ceramic ornaments and Christmas ornaments from the residents. Visitor donations brought, one could say, “everything from soup to nuts”, but really the donations included handmade leather purse and card holders, kitchen utensils, ceramic ornaments, wood burning picture, Christmas decorations for all sorts and sizes, chocolates and candies, table runners, homemade jams, baked goods, and a small quilt.
Because of the quantity and difference in sizes and time allotment, it was decided to group them in packages and came up with 27 packages.
The auction started at two with the well-known and popular (now resident of our Lodge), our own professional auctioneer, Jim Wilson. Beside him was the experienced Connie Martin. MaryAnne Friday displayed the articles in each package. She had some assistance from Linda Hanline. The bidding was fast and furious and with excited Jeanie as bid taker, things were lively. Our auctioneer was up to par in spite of retirement and starting the auction with antiques, went along well with his antique sound system and his long-time helper, Connie.
The highest bid for the day was for a beautiful small quilt donated by Kendra Volk of Fox Valley. A battle between two bidders ended with Daryl Tumbach purchasing the quilt for $655. Daryl and Eileen left it to be displayed at the Lodge for Christmas. A second battle began between Don Dean and Marlene Gierling. Marlene became the winner. The rest ran between $35 and to something over $500.
After the auction was over, the larger family groups were seated in some of the smaller rooms, leaving the larger dining room for the others. All kinds of cookies and tarts were supplied with tea, coffee and juices provided.
The day ended with everyone smiling and happy. After the dust settled, the final tally was amazing. Close to $2,400 goes into the Recreation Fund for tours during the summer and fall and the Twinkle Tour at Christmas. These tours are to Cypress Park and Grotto Gardens for pie and coffee and to other places of interest.
So it has been proven once more that the community spirit of the west is still strong. Support came from the northeast to all around the south country. The residents are truly grateful and wish to thank everyone and have a Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year and a special thanks to Jeanie, Linda, and Sheila.