New Castle News

August 20, 2013

Lawrence County Fair: Senior home residents enjoy a day fun

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — About 20 residents of local senior citizen homes were regaled with food and music at the Lawrence County Fair.

Golden Hill Nursing Home’s own bell choir and harmonica club entertained with sing-along songs that are familiar to older ears.

“I’ve been playing bells for 18 years,” said Clara Cumo, who is the longest running resident at Golden Hill at age 92. “Everyone else came in later.”

Cumo, who formerly lived on Neshannock Boulevard in New Castle, has lived at Golden Hill for 35 years and she learned how to play the bells there. She has played them for 18 years and was in the inaugural group that formed to make up the bell choir, she said.

Both ensembles are led by Cynthia Junkin, the home’s physical therapist.

“It’s my job to accommodate their needs so they can continue to play,” Junkin said, adding the bell choir has  about 20 members, but only 14 were at the fair.

The concert, which took place in the dog show pavilion, was preceded by a luncheon in the cafeteria.

Those attending were residents of both Golden Hill and the Greer House assisted living center.

The day out was a treat for those who were able to attend. The local homes started doing it about 12 years ago and have continued the tradition.

“They loved it,” Junkin said. “They talk about it for days afterward. They start asking well in advance ‘When are we going to the farm show?’”

The residents are transported via Allied Community Transportation System vans.

“They’ve been just tremendous,” Junkins said, adding, “It’s a community effort to get all of this into play.”

 She commended the fair cafeteria outfits that “go out of their way to accommodate our needs.  They are very mindful of what type of food to cook so even people who have a hard time chewing can enjoy it.”

Tuesday’s fare gave a choice of ham loaf dinner or scalloped chicken casserole.

The food is prepared by Michonda Weber Catering, and local church and civic organizations do the serving and get a percentage of the meals as a fund-raiser.