Forty years ago, St. Louis Church parishioner Linda McConville Lechner wanted nursing home residents to get out and socialize with other senior citizens. Lechner’s mother was a social worker at a nursing home, and Linda recalled, “I would go to the nursing home and just see the people sitting alone.”
That image touched her heart, so Lechner and a group of other women in the Rosary Guild at St. Louis Church decided to host a “Sunshine Luncheon.” They invited residents of area nursing homes to attend. That first luncheon brought together about 50 seniors. “They loved it!” Lechner recalled. “I remember when they were leaving, they had smiles on their faces and they thanked us.”
Today the luncheon has evolved into an annual event that has served upwards of 200 seniors who are parishioners who live at home and people who reside at area nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
This year’s luncheon was held Thursday, May 17, at the St. Louis School gymnasium on the St. Louis Church campus.
The media were invited to attend this event and capture the spirit of hospitality. Lechner and other founders of the luncheon will be recognized.
Just as they did 40 years ago, St. Louis parishioners and school parents make the luncheon food, personally escort guests in and out with VIP hospitality and provide entertainment.
Students from St. Louis School decorate the gym, welcome the guests, and serve the lunch. Students will also sing and entertain the guests.
Click Here to view the news coverage of the event at WHAM 13.
Click Here to view the news coverage of the event at The Catholic Courier
For more information, contact Diane Knittle, Pastoral Associate for Pastoral Care at St. Louis Church, (585) 586-5675, ext. 228.