Twin Cedar’s hosted a pre-Christmas celebration with carols and a special appearance by Santa Claus.
Local attorney Eric Hamill and his wife Jennifer have been coordinating this tradition for the last four or five years. They started when their parents were residents at the facility. They began by playing bingo and singing carols with the residents to brighten their holidays.
Each year the Hamills return, they extend what they do for the residents to involve as many seniors as possible regardless of their disabilities. Jennifer Hamill is also a member of the Shohola Parks and Recreation Committee and sees this program as a way to have the residents involved in a community event. Their three children, Parker Nash, Henry Hamill and Jack Lufty all took piano lessons from Heidi Carlton. Carlton is the mother of Grammy nominated singer/piano player Vanessa Carlton. They took lessons with Carlton since they were 5 and helped start this annual tradition at Twin Cedars.
This year ten of Carltons students arrived, ranging in age from 5 to 15. The afternoon started with piano songs. Keith Raser, Shohola Township Supervisor, made a special appearance dressed as Santa Claus. Raser also drives a bus for Pike County Transportation. He knows the residents names from driving them around, but they did not recognize him in his Santa costume.
When he first walked into Twin Cedars Senior Living, he greeted resident Arlene Crawford whose daughter was visiting her. He bounded in through the front doors with a loud ho-ho-ho. He greeted Crawford by name, much to her surprise. Leaning in and gently placing an arm on her shoulder he told her I remember when you were this big and leaned a hand down to his knees. Crawfords face broke out into a huge smile, and a hand went to her mouth as she stared at Santa Claus.
Raser and a close friend dressed as an elf, continued to spread Christmas cheer by walking into the community room where most of the residents were listening to the children play piano music. He entered the room while one of Carltons students played Here Comes Santa Claus.
Raser took a seat on the piano bench as his elf began to distribute presents to the residents. The residents continued to laugh and joke with Santa and the students as they opened presents and enjoyed Christmas cookies. He made sure that every resident received a gift and some Christmas cheer.