Lyons residents Florence Zaagman (left), Dorothy Allen and Mary Kalfas enjoyed the Senior Christmas Party at the village hall Dec. 12. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Lyons residents Florence Zaagman (left), Dorothy Allen and Mary Kalfas enjoyed the Senior Christmas Party at the village hall Dec. 12. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Lyons hosts Christmas party for seniors

By Steve Metsch

After last year’s event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florence Zaagman and cousin Dorothy Allen were thrilled to return to the annual Senior Christmas Party in Lyons.

Presented by the Lyons-McCook Business Association and held in the Lyons Village Hall, 4200 Lawndale Ave., the event attracted an estimated 250 on Dec. 12.

There were treated to a meal that included turkey, stuffing and other tasty treats, the music and humor of accordionist Eddie Korosa Jr., and gift bags.

“I think it’s a wonderful time for everybody to get together and converse with each other,” said Zaagman, 84, whose necklace was made of Christmas lights that lit up.

She was happy that Mayor Christopher Getty introduced many village officials and explained what each does in their job.

There’s no doubt Zaagman has the Christmas spirit as she then began singing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” as Korosa played the holiday song on his accordion.

Allen, 75, was also pleased to attend and to visit with Mayor Getty.

“I’m a big fan of Christopher’s. He’s very helpful to the seniors. He calls and checks on us once in a while, sends us birthday cards. He’s doing a good job, that’s for sure,” Allen said.

They were joined at their table by longtime Lyons resident Mary Kalfas, who was making her debut at the party.

“I’m amazed at what I see,” Kalfas said. “A couple of people who were going to save a space for me didn’t show up, so I joined these ladies over here. Everything is working out okay.”

Those attending were served meals by village officials, employees, volunteers and business association members.

Until about four years ago, former Lyons mayor Ken Getty used to – with help from several merchants – procure, season and roast 35 turkeys for the event.

The elder Getty — father of the current mayor and head of the village’s seniors group that has events year around — said he started the Senior Christmas Party 42 years ago.

“Saturday’s used to kill me. I’d start at 6:30 (in the morning) and work till 11 o’clock at night putting this together,” Ken Getty said. “My son finally said, ‘Dad, let’s just get it catered’.”

Still, 32 volunteers were at the village hall on Dec. 11, preparing gift bags, setting up tables and decorating the large community room for this year’s party.

And, yes, there were not done until 11 p.m., Ken Getty said.

Mayor Christopher Getty was pleased was the village could again host the event after a year off.

“We have not had a gathering like this for two years,” he said. “We always want to do something special for the community.”

Last year, in lieu of the party, 1,100 care packages were distributed, he said. Earlier this month, a breakfast for children with Santa had 350 people in the village hall.

“We want to show you guys we really care about our community, our residents, about the health and well-being of each other,” the mayor said.

“This is event is put on 100 percent by donations of local businesses who want to give back to the community and do something special for residents who have been with us for so many years,” he added.

dvn eddie korosa lyons senior xmas party

Eddie Korosa Jr. plays Christmas songs on his accordion. Behind him are some of the many gift bags given to seniors. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

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