Date: December 9, 2001
Place: St. Elizabeth Seton Parish Hall, Sun City, Arizona
Once again, St. Elizabeth Seton Parish hall was ready for a Lithuanian celebration of the Christmas season hosted by the Lithuanian-American Community of Arizona: the hall was decked out with red and green Christmas decorations and white tablecloths; a Christmas tree with Lithuanian straw ornaments; a display table with 12 Lithuanian Christmas Eve dishes and traditional decorations; a buffet with hot food, cold food, desserts, coffee, and punch; a display of amber jewelry, traditional sashes, and dolls in Lithuanian national costumes; a work area for making straw ornaments; and a throne for Santa. Christmas music was playing on the stereo. But best of all, more than 150 people, young and old, from near and far, with Christmas spirit in their hearts came to eat, socialize, and celebrate Lithuanian Christmas customs and traditions. Older folks shared reminiscences of past Christmases. Youngsters labored on straw ornaments and received an early Christmas gift from Santa Claus. It was a memorable afternoon for all.
This luncheon was a benefit for Lithuania's orphan children and our guests demonstrated their Christmas spirit by donating generously for this special cause.
Our special thanks goes to all the members of our community who volunteered their time and effort to make this event a great success: Mary Gallagher for getting us the wonderful hall; Audrone Bartys, Gilanda and Kazys Matonis, and Antonija Petrulis for setting up and decorating the hall; Gilanda Matonis for preparing and setting the traditional Christmas Eve supper table display; Milda Kvedaras for displaying her creations of amber jewelry, dolls, and sashes; Aldona Gencius, Dalia Motiejunas, and Aldona Vaitkus for preparing the hot food; Danguole Balceris, Ilona Budinavicius, Juze Jakubenas, Aldona Katilius, Rita Martinaitis, Rima Reklaitis, and Aldona Vaitkus for preparing the cold food; Carol Adamavich, Ona Adomaitis, Danguole Balceris, Birute Dirse, Aldona Gencius, Dr. Violeta Juodakis, Aldona Katilius, Aldona Klemka, Nora Trulsson, and Severina Vanagunas for preparing the desserts; Pastor Franklin Bartel for starting the luncheon with a prayer; Carol Adamavich, Aldona Gencius, Ginta Martinaitis, and Rima Reklaitis for tending the buffet; Danguole Balceris, Ilona Budinavicius, and Sofija Palionis for demonstrating the construction of straw ornaments; Don Adamavich for being our Santa Claus; Antonija Petrulis for manning our donations table for Lithuanian orphans; Algis Motiejunas for selling the food tickets; and Nora Trulsson for being our master of ceremonies.