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Fun and good cheer at annual Senior Citizens Holiday Celebration

A merry crowd of more than 150 people enjoyed the 21st annual Senior Citizens Holiday Celebration held on Nov. 29 at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

Committee chairwoman Patricia Knight Gary welcomed the seniors and thanked them for bringing holiday spirit to the Manassas Campus. Gary has spearheaded the event for more than two decades.

NBC-4 meteorologist Chuck Bell served as master of ceremonies and set the mood for a fun afternoon by predicting a “sunny good time” for everyone.

Mayor Harry J. Parrish II brought greetings from the City of Manassas and wished everyone a happy holiday season.

Provost Roger Ramsammy welcomed attendees and encouraged everyone to apply for teaching jobs to share their expertise with Manassas Campus students.

Under the direction of Janet Lunsford, “Men in Song” sang numerous familiar holiday tunes with the audience joining in on some songs. Members of the all-male chorus have donated their time and talents to the annual event for several years.

After lunch, a troupe of elves (otherwise known as students, faculty and staff) helped Bell and Santa distribute gifts to all the “boys and girls.” In addition to taking home poinsettias and other donated door prizes, each guest received a NOVA-green scarf to keep them warm this winter.

Dozens of NOVA students volunteered to decorate the room, serve the food and participate in the program, and their efforts were much appreciated.

“I want to convey heartfelt thanks to our students, faculty and staff at the Manassas Campus. It is a joy to work with such caring people who give their time and donations each year,” Gary said. “We especially appreciate the support from the community. This event wouldn’t be possible without contributions from our local businesses. Special thanks to Chuck Bell for making the luncheon a wonderful occasion.”

Event sponsors were Northwest Federal Credit Union, Caton Merchant House of the Prince William Health System, NOVEC, The Century for Peace and Cultural Exchange, and US Logoworks.

In addition, the following businesses and organizations provided door prizes:  Big Joe’s Pizza, Carmello’s Restaurant, Cracker Barrel, Hard Times Café of Manassas, Lifelong Learning Institute of Manassas, Mama Mia Pizza, Monza Restaurant, Red Lobster, Uno Chicago Grill of Manassas and Wegmans.

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.