DETROIT (WXYZ) — Hot meals and much more have been provided to Detroit's senior population for decades through the services of St. Patrick Senior Center.
The annual Irish Festival – held inside and outside at the center’s historic home on Parsons Street – returns live for the first time since 2019 --supporting the programs that enrich so many lives.
“The Irish Festival has taken place at St. Patrick Senior Center for 45 years. During two years of the pandemic, it was virtual, but the Irish community has been truly supportive of St. Pat’s,” said SaTrice Coleman Betts.
“The celebration of being Irish doesn’t just stop at St. Patrick’s Day, it continues and we’re happy to be part of that tradition, so it’s a big fundraiser for our organization and it’s a blend of cultures,” said Coleman Betts.
During the pandemic, the center had to stop its in-person meal service -- switching to a drive up and pick up model. Roger Laird has been a member at St. Pat’s for 10 years.
WXYZ’s Dave LewAllen asked, “And the meals have been an important part of it as well, right?
“Yeah, that’s why I’m here,” said Roger Laird, St. Patrick Senior Center member.
While the meals are foundational, the center also offers health and wellness screenings along with a variety of activities and classes. It’s a place many calls home.
“It’s great when you can participate together in everything. I really enjoy it,” said Laird.
“This is my family; this is a lifeline for Lucille Towns,” said Lucille Towns St. Patrick Senior Center member. “This is a one-stop-shop. Everything is here, everything you need.”
“I’m down here to eat because I don’t want to eat alone. Why should I eat alone? I can come here and eat with others in fellowship and have a good time,” said Towns. “And find out what’s going on that pertains to me as a senior, so, I’m loving it.”
The 45th Irish Festival is May 1, 2022, For more information: 45th Irish Festival