WASILLA — About 100 seniors gathered at the Wasilla Area Seniors center to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a community during the Valentine Friends Ice Cream Social.

Local seniors, WASI residents, and their friends and families spent several hours eating free food, listening and dancing to live music by the Feral Katz, playing games, receiving free massages by Mountain View Chiropractic, and simply enjoying the company of others during a national holiday.

“I think it’s really important because they need a place they can meet their friends or just socialize with others,” WASI Assistant Executive Director Marlene Munsell said.

All the food was donated by businesses across the community, including Little Miller’s, Three Bears Alaska, Qdoba, Glenda’s Training Center and Salon, and Raising Cane’s. Munsell said that she was very glad to have the support from the local business and numerous volunteers for this event.

“I appreciate our community,” Munsell said. “Without our volunteers, donors, and community support, we couldn’t put something like this together.”

Munsell said that she’s been with WASI a year and she’s glad to be with them.

“I love it because we can help the senior community be independent and this is a great example of that,” Munsell said.

Munsell said the event serves as a sort of “cabin fever reliever” to get local seniors and WASI residents out of their homes, many of them likely have been cooped up due to the cold weather.

WASI office assistant Kelsey Lovan helped put this event together. She said that she recently started working there and it’s been a great start.

“I like it a lot, great organization. I love the seniors,” Lovan said. “I like being with the people, taking the time to get to know everybody. It’s a fun event for everyone to relax and enjoy themselves.”

It was a chance to break out of the mundane and have fun. There were numerous prizes handed out and a series of games in addition to music from the 50’s.

“This is great,” WASI resident Sandy Giddens said at a table next to her friend Jean Weatter. “It sure beats just sitting in our apartments.”

Weatter said that she appreciates these events and the other senior activities that WASI offers.

“It’s a wonderful place to live. It really is,” Weatter said.

To learn more about upcoming events, activities and senior health and fitness programs at WASI, call 907-376-3104 or visit wasillaseniors.com.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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