Lynn Striver, the wife of a former Air Station commanding officer, started the first Senior Citizens’ Tea in 1968. Forty years later, the Air Station continued the tradition she started.
The Officers’ Spouses’ Club on the Air Station held its 40th Annual Senior Citizens’ Tea Sunday at the Officers’ Club.
Striver first started the tea as a way of giving back to the community for all that it does in supporting the military, said Victoria Russ, the president of the OSC. Striver got the idea from some of her Army buddies and thought if they can do it, Marines could do it better.
For this year’s tea, entertainment was provided by the Beaufort Academy of Dance and the Beaufort High School Voices Ensemble, led by Director Victor Varner. The ensemble sang a few holiday selections, including Hot Chocolate from the film “The Polar Express.” In addition, there were appearances by Col. John Snider, the commanding officer of the Air Station, and Col. Gregg Brinegar, the commanding officer of Marine Air Group 31.
Each year, the Marine Corps holds a birthday ball and has a cake-cutting ceremony to commemorate the years that the Corps has been in existence. The tea had a similar concept to memorialize the years it has been going on. There was a cake-cutting ceremony at the tea between the oldest serving member of the OSC, who has been married to a Marine for more than 20 years, and the newest member, who recently married a Marine this past Thanksgiving.
The OCS made more than 70 dozen cookies and a lot of sandwiches for the attendees. They even prepared diabetic cookies and muffins to fit everyone’s preference.
“We have been planning this event since August,” Russ said. “Although it’s very time consuming, it all came together in the end.”
A unique addition to the tea that was added last year is the Ring-A-Long. It is a sing-a-long to Christmas tunes, but only bells are used as the vocals.
“I’ve been coming to (the tea) for the past 10 years and I enjoy coming every year,” said Canter Sheldon Feinberg, a chaplain at Parris Island. “I will continue to come and help out any way possible.”
The event wrapped up with Russ singing a closing selection.
“This event could not have been such a success without the support and help from all the volunteers, the OSC staff, all the donations that were given to us and all the behind-the-scenes people that contributed,” Russ stated.