Rotarians treat senior center to Mardi Gras party

At Madison Senior Center, Bhisham ‘Bish’ Lall and Ernestine Flagg were crowned as Mardi Gras King and Queen at a party hosted by Rotary Club of Madison. Rotary President Sandy Patel congratulates them. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON –Madison Senior Center members indulged in festive colors and tastes during the first annual Steve Croomes Memorial Mardi Gras Celebration, sponsored by Rotary Club of Madison on Feb. 24.  

Rotary President Sandy Patel greeted senior center members at tables filled with bright and gaudy balloons, flowers, trinkets and garland. He took a moment to say, “Hello to my mom, Indira Patel,” a center member.

Rotarians served purple-and-gold frosted King Cake and a tart, green punch to all center members and distributed strands of beads.

Ad-libbing on harmonica, center member John Cameron embodied the Mardi Gras mood in a mask, streamers, shocking-pink, felt sombrero in … and a muumuu dress. Center director Vickie Parker and activities coordinator Joy Edwards wore party masks, feather boas and beads.

Bhisham ‘Bish’ Lall was crowned Mardi Gras King, while Ernestine Flagg was honored as Mardi Gras Queen from a ticket drawing of all members’ names. “We’ll invite our King and Queen to take center stage on Rotary Club’s floats at Madison Street Festival and Madison Christmas Parade,” Community Director Debbie Overcash said.

After the crowning, Rotarians drew for winners of five door prizes, including slippers, notecards, lotions and other personal notions. The Senior Center Dance Club performed, with Rotarians Shelia Nash-Stevenson and Tina Beacraft joining the line dance.  

Rotarians dedicated the celebration to the late Steve Croomes, past president. “During his time as a Rotarian, Steve was very generous, compassionate, served in all of our service areas and received the Five Avenues of Service Award (Club, Vocational, Community, International and Youth) in 2012,” Club Service Director Carla Daily said.

“Madison Rotarians wanted to celebrate the giving spirit of our dear friend Steve, who loved everything Mardi Gras,” Overcash said. Croomes, an Athens attorney, considered New Orleans his second home. “Steve immersed himself in the city’s life and culture and celebrated Mardi Gras as a Krewe of Endymion member more than 20 years.”

Other Madison Rotarians helping at the party were Cynthia Curtis, Bob Driggers, President Elect Marc Jacobson, Shannon Lott, Dr. Emily McIntosh, Dennis Sanders and President Nominee Tim Stone.

Also, State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, who is a Madison Rotarian, funded the event and joined the senior center members for the festivities.

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