Libanus Lodge, volunteers serve up meals for seniors
BRISTOL — On the second Thursday of each month, the Libanus Lodge at the corner of North and Elm streets in Bristol serves a Lunch for Seniors.
As Cecil Foster explains, the lunch was started about 19 years ago by Ted and Marin Pilon. It was subsidized by AgeWell, formerly the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging, until last year when cutbacks by the Trump administration forced the agency to cut back on assistance to these types of programs.
When Ted Pilon died in 2010, Foster stepped up and continued the well-established tradition of providing wholesome, nutritional meals to our area seniors for $3 per month.
Libanus Lodge served more than 75 meals this past Thursday, including to guests, takeouts and staff.
“We serve them a homemade soup from September to May (sometimes June, if it’s not too hot) followed by a salad ranging from a simple green salad to Asian Cole Slaw, or Currie Kidney Bean Salad (yes, our Seniors can be quite adventurous!)” Foster wrote in a recent social media post.
Gert Bingham makes “world class dinner rolls,” Foster explained, that are served warm from the oven.
“For the last year, Gert’s granddaughter, Lisa Wad, has been preparing and donating desserts that any of our area restaurants would be proud to serve,” he wrote. “Her mom has been making and donating donuts that are served with coffee that is donated by our friends at Vermont Coffee Company.
The staff that graciously prepares, serves, and cleans up for these meals includes Charles Correll prepping and then manning the pot sink; Gene Kensek, another Masonic brother of Correll’s, runs the dishwasher; Rick Taylor, another brother, is the organization’s “Man Friday” and does whatever needs to be done. Rick and Sandy Desorda joined in last year and help serve the meals (although it must be noted that a Rick has scrubbed a pot or three).
Carol Weston and Ashley Smith anchor the wait staff each month, and Alice Sumner graciously makes and donates delightful decorations for the tables each month. Brother Dick Merrill has been generously filling in for Sylvia Coffin to collect the money while Sylvia has been convalescing from a bad leg injury.
Pete Perlee and Ann Myrick help out as needed so some staff can have the occasional day off.
“It’s a very satisfying event that I’m able to be involved in and it’s a wonderful thing to watch our amazing seniors socialize and have a great time together,” Foster wrote. “Thanks to all who make this able to happen!”
Foster added: “PS- I don’t want to forget to thank Mike Bromley who mows our lawn to golf course standards all summer and his son Dan, who generously plows us out.”
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