Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

December 03 2014

Cooking Up a Holiday Lunch That “Feels Like Home” for the Elderly

Peter Walsh, Community Services Committee
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly
“Quite spectacular” is how Sarah Opple, Community Services Committee Chair, described the year’s final event to benefit Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly.  

We served the Holiday Lunch to about 100 Elderly at the Little Brothers facility in Chicago on Thursday, Dec. 4.  

As chair of the event, Peter Walsh said it was important that we make it feel like home. “At my home on Christmas Eve, we always have a big home-cooked meal before Santa pops in for a visit. Carols are sung and every person receives a gift. This is the atmosphere we are trying to create.” 

Hilton Hotels donated the food, which was cooked by the Hilton Chicago, Palmer House, Embassy Suites Chicago – Downtown/Lakefront, Drake Hotel, and committee members. The menu included soup/salad, ham, beef, stuffing, side dishes and desserts. All of our gracious volunteers set up and served the meals. We even had four cantors who serenaded us. Santa appeared, too!

Of course, there is the human touch - just visiting with the elderly and showing them that we care for them and want to make their holidays special. 

We have collected ornaments and gift cards from our generous committee members. Furthermore, Embassy Suites Chicago, the Hilton Chicago, Palmer House & Hyatt McCormick (thanks to Pat Fabijanski) did a "Jean Day" to benefit this event. For $5, donors could wear jeans for the day. This alone raised over $1,700 that will be turned into gift cards so they can use them as they wish. We surpassed the number of gifts we hoped to collect, so EVERY ELDERLY received both an ornament and gift card! 

The outpouring of donations and time is humbling. This committee, and other members of the Greater Midwest Chapter of PCMA who give of their time & spirit, are truly inspiring. 
About the Author 

Peter WalshPeter Walsh, a.k.a. Santa Claus, is Senior Sales Manager at Embassy Suites Chicago – Downtown/Lakefront.