Times Ledger - Living the life at high tea
By Trevina Nicholson
City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) hosted his first annual Senior High Tea along with the Healthfirst organization in a colorful event that brought back memories of the days when hats and elegant teacups were part of a more leisurely lifestyle.
The seniors who participated were asked to wear their favorite hats and to bring along their dearest tea cup. The afternoon tea was held at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center located at 172-17 Linden Blvd. in St. Albans, and organizers estimated that between 125 and 150 attended.
Billing the tea as “something different for people to come out and enjoy the afternoon,” Comrie said “seniors normally don’t get to wear their finer clothing and this is a great way for [them to] listen to music and enjoy themselves.”
The hats ranged from bejeweled to feathered. Some hats were bright red, others were blue and at least one had an African motif. Even the men got in on the act and wore fedoras as well as other styles.
Many in the large crowd seemed enthusiastic about trying the different teas that were being served.
On each table, the tea cups were displayed to represent the selections made by the seniors who brought them. “It reminds me of when we were young and things that were really fine,” said 82-year old Ada Williams.
Tonya Whitmore, a Medicare psych-development community relations coordinator at Healthfirst, explained that her organization has been partnering with elected officials to help seniors throughout Queens.
“We try to help focus on healthy living,” Whitmore said, pointing out that Healthfirst wants senior to engage in exercise.
She also said the high tea gave seniors a chance to socialize with friends as well as providing them with an activity in the middle of the day.
When the seniors first walked into the room, they were greeted by volunteers of the Young Adult Making Moves group, who took the time to help out with signing in each participant and serving the tea and food. The YAM program is sponsored by Comrie and supplies volunteers for his events when they are needed.
Porcia Gadson, one of the volunteers, who attends John Adams High School, said it was nice to see the seniors come out to Comrie’s events. She also said the goal of the program is to find issues within the Queens district and try to find solutions.
The rest of the afternoon was filled with live music by 2-4-1 Entertainment.
“I’m impressed with the different designs. They are beautiful,” said Willie Harris, 61 a resident of South Ozone Park, about the both the hats and the teacups.
Harris complimented Comrie on holding the tea.
“It’s nice and elegant, the music sounds good, and I’m here to socialize with people,” he said.
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