SOUTH PLAINFIELD – The South Plainfield Senior Center will host a cookout for members on July 22 between 12:30p.m. and 1:30p.m.  The grill will be fired up and those who attend will have the choice of a hamburger, hot dog or veggie burger meal along with drinks and sides.  Seniors can drive up to the back door and pick up their meal curbside.     

“Meatball Monday was a hit, so we decided to do a drive by picnic,” said Tree Olano, Senior Center Director.  “In addition to the main course, we will provide a side salad, chips, drink and, of course, something sweet.”  

The event will be in place of the Senior Picnic, which is the second largest party the center holds yearly, the first being the Annual Senior Center Christmas Party.  

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“We always have over 130 people at events like the picnic,” Olano said.  “I thought it would be a nice event for our seniors.  They miss coming here and I’m just trying to make things as normal as possible.”    

Some seniors will take their barbeque favorites over to Spring Lake park to dine in the shade with friends at safe distances.  

“It is so important for them to keep social,” Olano said.  “Depression can set in by being alone.”      

Senior Center member and volunteer, Gerry Brown, says she misses the center very much.

“I love it there,” Brown said.  “I helped out at all the parties. I can’t wait until it opens.  They are fantastic and it’s a very busy place normally.  There’s not another center I don’t think that’s doing all this.  They’re doing everything they can to keep people happy in a sad time.”  

Senior Center staff have been calling members and posting about the cookout on social media.  

“This event will be on a donation basis,” Olano said.  “The hot food will be donated by Sal Severini and crew.” 

The back of the center will be decked out in picnic décor, the grill will be smoking and music will fill the air as seniors drive up to receive their meal.

“I can’t wait to see everyone and for them to see us!” Olano said.  “We love and miss them all!”