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ACC Christmas celebration marks a year of cheer

For the annual Christmas celebration held at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center last Friday, it was definitely a case of 'the more the merrier.'

In this case, a merrier Christmas.

The luncheon was a sold-out event, with 128 senior citizens entirely filling up the dining area to eat prime rib dinners prepared by head chef Julynne Pang and her staff.

There was also musical entertainment by the Lake Carillon Bell Quartet of Lake Oswego United Methodist Church and a Christmas story, 'The Angels of Indiana,' read by ACC executive director Brenda Suteu.

Christmas kudos went out to everyone, such as the meal servers from the Epiphany Episcopal Remnant and the Lake Oswego Junior Women's Club.

Mainly, it was a time to count blessings, especially by the staff of the ACC.

Suteu was pleased to note that the ACC has 450 volunteers.

'They make magic happen,' she said. 'We're very blessed with people who give their time and energy. We have the most faithful volunteers I've ever seen.'

Two volunteers coming in for special nods were Joan O'Connor and Gladys Haynes.

'They're exceptional,' said Berta Derman, social programs director. 'They make the dining room work.'

While the luncheon capped the ACC Christmas season (which included trips to the Singing Christmas Tree and the Tall Jazz Festival), it also marked a conclusion of a year of prosperity and much growth at the ACC.

One mark of growth was the meals program. Besides the full dining room on Friday, Pang sent out 85 meals-on-wheels at noontime. This was made possible by successful fundraising by the ACC Foundation and the Meal Network. A highly successful new event was the crepe breakfast this past summer, which attracted big numbers of Oswegan crepe lovers.

An even greater indicator of ACC growth was the education program, which grew so much that it even attracted enrollment beyond the senior citizen community.

'We have younger people calling now,' said Debra Carline, ACC education director. 'It helps that we're in the parks and recreation catalogue. We've gone from three pages to six.'

All of these blessings made the ACC a very Christmassy place during the holiday season.