Ringing in the new!

New Year's Eve 2011 at St. Mary's began with a line of revelers excitedly waiting outside the auditorium. The doors opened to festive holiday decor in tones of silver and black, beautifully decorated tables with centerpieces of small silver trees, and a giant 2012 on the stage curtains. The Residents and their guests piled in to grab a seat.

Luz Cornejo, activities assistant, along with Josephine Mendoza and Charmaine Biskup, AJJ members, took refreshment orders for eggnog, punch, margaritas, coffee, and tea. Delectable finger sandwiches, cocktail shrimp, mini quiches, Swedish meatballs, were among the various hors d'oeuvres served. Everyone ate and drank while the Briggs family entertained the crowd with a spectacular musical performance.

The revue started with “We are Family,” made famous by the Pointer Sisters, followed by a lively rendition of Barry Manilow's "Copacabana." Mr. Brigg's granddaughter Cheyenne had the crowd spellbound with her amazing solo rendition of "Amazing Grace." The singing continued to the sounds of Sonny and Cher, the Captain and Tennille, Kool & The Gang, John Denver, and other popular acts with Residents joining in. The Briggs daughters sauntered around the tables and got Residents and guests up on their feet dancing. 

The show ended with selections from The Sound of Music. Sr. Michael and Sr. Patricia Gertrude surprised everyone by joining in on "Maria,” which everyone knows as “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” The Briggs’ children delighted everyone with their own version of the Von Trapp family's "So Long, Farewell."

As the New Year drew near, everyone grew excited as the Briggs' family led everyone in the countdown. Applause and shouts of "Happy New Year!" rang throughout the Home. While champagne poppers, confetti torches, and bags of streamers were launched filling the air and revelers as a chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" broke out. Then more dancing, drinking of champagne, and eating of beautifully delicious petits fours. The partiers were sad to leave but all good parties must come to an end.  

As Sr. Mildred swept up the path of leftover streamers that trailed from the auditorium to the Residents' rooms, we agreed this surely was a sign that it was some great New Year's Eve party.

Click here to see a photo slideshow from this event.