December 26, 2023 at 12:56pm

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Elena Ferrarin

Article by Elena Ferrarin

Communications Coordinator
Northbrook Park District


Among the myriad events offered by the Northbrook Park District’s Senior Center, an annual favorite is the holiday party held at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield.

Nearly 60 seniors attended this year’s luncheon held December 8 in the club’s ballroom, which was festively decorated with sparkling green wreaths, vibrant red poinsettias and a massive Christmas tree adorned with golden ornaments.

The attendees enjoyed camaraderie and lively conversation during a delicious meal — with a choice of beef medallions, grilled Atlantic salmon or a vegetarian dish — served by attentive staff. Crooner Peter Oprisko charmed everyone with his impassioned rendition of classic and holiday tunes, and emcee Nancy Eschker elicited laughs with her quick wit as she called out raffle winners.

“This is a favorite event for our seniors every year. There is so much holiday spirit in the air,” said Eschker, the park district’s recreation manager. “Sunset Ridge Country Club is beautifully decorated and has wonderful food, and the whole atmosphere makes for a memorable event.”

Linda Yost came to represent event sponsor The Lodge of Northbrook, where she works as marketing director. “This is a gorgeous room, and the food is delicious,” she said, adding she especially liked the live entertainment from Oprisko. “He is fantastic. I love the way he tells the history of the songs and works the room, making everyone feel at ease.”

A multitude of area businesses contributed a marvelous variety of gift baskets as raffle prizes. The list included Hyatt Regency Chicago, Once Upon a Grill, Sunset Foods, Jack’s Wine and Liquors, Rise N Dine Restaurant, Midwest Express Clinics, Carol’s Cookies, Rosati’s Pizza, Oscar’s Hair Salon and Best Salon & Spa, along with the park district’s Heritage Oaks Golf Club and Techny Prairie Activity Center.

“We are so thankful for the generosity of our sponsors and donors,” Eschker said. “The raffle is always a very popular part of our holiday event and without them, the party would not be the same. The seniors were delighted with the raffle items this year.”

The most coveted prize was a gift voucher for a one-night hotel stay, breakfast included, for two people at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. The lucky winner was senior Theresa Brodde, who said she planned to give the voucher to one of her children, both of whom live out of state. “I am going to guess I’ll give it to my daughter, because she’s the traveler!” said Theresa, who, like many of the attendees, wore red in honor of the holidays.

Seniors Bob and Linda Saluga won a gift basket with red wine and gourmet crackers from Once Upon a Grill. This was the couple’s second holiday party at Sunset Ridge, where last year they won a whopping three prizes. “We really like it. The food is delicious and it’s a good time,” said Linda, who loves to take yoga classes at the Leisure Center.

Northbrook Park District Director of Recreation Eileen Loftus said the festive luncheon is a chance for everyone to feel the warmth of the holiday season.

“At a time when some seniors have a calendar full of engagements and others do not, this gathering ensures that everyone has something to celebrate,” she said. “It offers an elevated experience for all participants, and provides an opportunity for them to engage socially with friends and with our wonderful staff.”

Indeed, events like the holiday luncheon are among the many reasons the Senior Center is such a great place to meet people, Amy Malloy said.

“When I moved to Northbrook, I didn’t know many people,” she said. “Now I have a dozen or so more friends who are wonderful people. My life is so much happier.” For more information about the Senior Center, visit or stop by the front desk from 8am to 4pm (Monday through Friday) at the Leisure Center, located at 3323 Walters Avenue in Northbrook.