‘An old-fashioned American picnic’ is hosted in Kenilworth

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KENILWORTH, NJ — The Kenilworth Senior Center recently hosted “An Old-Fashioned American Picnic.” The event was at DiMario Park and approximately 75 seniors came out to enjoy themselves.

Shirley Maxwell, senior program director for the borough, said, “I’m happy the weather turned out beautiful.”

Jersey Joe’s Barbecue & Grill in Garwood provided the picnic fare, featuring angus burgers and cheeseburgers, all-beef hot dogs with all the fixings, BBQ chicken breast, Memphis-style pulled pork, Joe’s slow-baked beans, mixed green salad, chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies.

Entertainment was provided by Be Our Guest Entertainment. With the theme being Americana, patriotic music was played, along with a variety of music from the 1950s to current times.

According to DJ Mel, he’s been deejaying the Kenilworth Senior Picnic for 15 to 20 years. He also provides music for the center’s holiday party.

Mayor Linda Karlovitch said, “I hope all the seniors have a wonderful day. Shirley (Maxwell) is amazing. I wish everyone a wonderful summer.”

Kenilworth resident Joe Gorsky was attending the senior picnic for the first time. “Just to get out,” he said. “I lost my wife three months ago. I was sitting home all the time. I came to talk to other people in town.”

Vercillie Francis, a two-year resident of Kenilworth, was also attending the picnic for the first time.

Joan Kaverick, of Kenilworth, said, “I love to see a lot of people. Kenilworth is a wonderful town to live in. I’m happy here.”

Craig Day, of Kenilworth, said, “I’m looking forward to the barbecue. It’s a nice little town. I like small towns.”

Charlie Stelzer said he’s lived in Kenilworth on and off over the years but he’s been in town the past six years. “I’m looking forward to the food,” he said.

His mom, Anne Stelzer, said, “The friendships and food.”

John Figueiredo and Rita Cerbone, program analysts of the Bureau of Community Development, Department of Economic Development, County of Union, were in attendance. They recently obtained a community development block grant for $250,000, which went toward updates for the Senior Center. Renovations included an air conditioning system, a new kitchen with marble tops, appliances, a stove and serving stations. New water fountains are now ADA compliant.

Maxwell addressed the attendees and said, “Thanks to the DJ, the mayor, thank you for all you do. Thank you to Rita and John. They provide community development block grants for wonderful improvements. Thanks to their $250,000 grant, we’re enjoying the kitchen and air conditioning, making our life more pleasant. Thank you to the decorating committee; thanks to Lillian Falcetano, president of the Senior Citizen Club; and Paulette Drogon, treasurer of the Senior Citizen Club.”

All attendees were invited, by Maxwell, to each take home a plant with a Memorial Day flag as a remembrance.

DJ Mel then played the “Star Spangled Banner,” followed by “The Way You Look Tonight.”

To learn more about what the Kenilworth Senior Center has to offer, visit: https://www.kenilworthborough.com/189/Senior-Services.

Photos by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta