Community Life

Springfield Seniors Birthday Bash had Surprise Visit by a Baby Alligator

Rizzo's Reptiles with a baby American Alligator, Margaret Bandrowski looking on Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Rizzo's Reptiles with a cane toad Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Senior Club President Margaret Bandrowski reciting the Senior Prayer Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Program Coordinator Amefika Gray setting up lunch Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Happy May Birthday! Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Rizzo's Reptiles with a bearded dragon lizard Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Rizzo's Reptiles with a chichilla Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Rizzo's Reptiles with a ferret Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Margaret Bandrowski with a representative from the Madison Board of Health Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Seniors at Birthday Bash Credits: Jeff Rosenberg
Senior Club President Margaret Bandrowski Credits: Jeff Rosenberg

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - A true hidden gem in Springfield is the town’s Seniors Club. Seniors, on a regular basis, meet in the eastern wing of the Chisholm Community Center. They have regular meetings, Bingo, mah-jongg, play cards, use the fitness center, take computer classes and go on “field trips” (sometimes out of the state). The one constant, however, is their  Birthday Bash, held on the fourth Thursday of each month.

Each month the Seniors look forward to this event where most members of the club get together for a couple of hours. The meetings start off with a pledge to the flag, followed by the recital of the Senior Prayer by club President Margaret Bandrowski. Then, like any club, the monthly finances are discussed, follow-ups to old business, discussions on new business, and reminders of future events. At this meeting, a representative from the Madison Board of Health was there to remind Seniors that free blood testing will be conducted on June 14th. And of course, an announcement is made of those celebrating birthdays in the month (this month there were 18 folks) and the group all sings Happy Birthday to them.

Each month a different lunch is served. Hope and Jeff Rosenberg are always there as “regular” volunteers and “honorary” club members, to serve the food and help clean-up. Adam Lieb’s Recreation Department staff is also on hand as needed. This week’s lunch was provided by ShopRite. For a mere $5 payment (from each member attending), they got a choice of sandwich, salad, drink and birthday cake. This month there was a special treat, as club member Sandy Tasch also prepared homemade coleslaw and pasta salad to round out the meal. Food is always brought in from various local restaurants; today’s lunch was a cold meal, but often the meals are hot.

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During lunch, there is always entertainment. Sometimes a musician and/or singer, sometimes a comedian or a magician. It always varies. This month Rizzo’s Reptiles entertained the Seniors with various non-typical small animals that the Seniors got to admire and pet. This included a ferret, a chinchilla, a bearded dragon lizard and a cane toad (the largest toad in existence). The scariest part of the exhibit was when a baby American alligator was brought around the room. Only a few feet long and not that big, but the group was told that in maturity they grow to about 800 pounds.

Finally, and also a mainstay of the monthly Birthday Bash was a 50/50 raffle. This week there were two winners of $20 each, 2 winners of $10, and four winners of $5 each. Club members buy tickets at $1 apiece. With between 70 and 100 members at this monthly event, it’s a way for the club to make some extra money and the Seniors to have a little fun and maybe win a few bucks. is Springfield’s free daily news source. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TAPSpringfield.

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