A birthday theme seems unusual for a gathering of 400 men and women from across central Indiana, but for these seniors, celebrating their long lives and God’s blessings go hand-in-hand.

“What if we look at each birthday as a day to celebrate the blessings in our lives?” asked Major Collette Webster as she addressed the attendees at The Salvation Army’s annual Older Adult Spring Luncheon. She went on to challenge the audience to think of a blessing for each year of their long lives and remember that God’s love does not fade with time.

Major Jeff Horn

Major Jeff Horn

This happy occasion – made even more joyous with a sing-a-long of “Happy Birthday” – brings together long-time friends each year, giving them an opportunity to enjoy fellowship, a fun program and a hearty meal. The Freetown Village Singers, a crowd favorite, were back this year with soulful renditions of favorites like “This Little Light of Mine” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

Freetown Village Singers

Freetown Village Singers

Around 400 guests traveled to the Indiana State Fairgrounds to attend this special event, including many who participate in other Salvation Army programs throughout the year or live at Booth Manor, a . A large group from The Salvation Army Fountain Square Corps Community Center was in attendance, enjoying one of many trips the group takes as part of the older adult ministries program at the Corps.

Also among the guests were several centenarians, including Indianapolis resident Ora Dodson. Still sprightly and sharp as a tack, she celebrated her 100th birthday last November. Ora came to the luncheon with a group of old friends who still love to stay active and attend special events together.

OA Spring volunteer

Army of Volunteers

“The food was wonderful,” Ora commented after the program. But she saved most of her praise for the performance by the Freetown Village Singers. “I really loved it. They’re singing songs I haven’t heard in a long time.”

Many thanks to the volunteers and supporters who make it possible for The Salvation Army to minister to our seniors and bring well-deserved joy to their lives. It is our privilege and pleasure to serve them!