LAKELAND | At St. Joseph Parish’s Lakeland Senior Center, high tea isn’t just for the English. Mothers and daughters from various Catholic Charities of Central Florida locations across Polk County adopted the tradition in celebration of motherhood, May 12, complete with fancy hats.
Ann Nahrbecki, Eleanor Collier, and Denise Throm joined almost 40 others at the party. The trio are family. Nahrbecki and her daughters came from Pennsylvania to Polk City in 2004. The snowbirds spend half the year enjoying Florida sun and fun. When they heard about the Mother’s Day tea, they knew they would not miss it.
Collier called the celebration, “a memory for life.” “We enjoyed it tremendously,” said her sister, Throm. Most of all, she loved the hats provided by Humana and Dedicated Senior Medical Center, co-sponsors of the event.
It is unusual to see an elderly mother with two lively elder daughters, at the party, but the three chime in unison, “We’ve always been this close.” Living independently, Nahrbecki, who is 96, brags about her daughters’ visits and Throm’s cooking.
The nineth of 10 children, Nahrbecki appreciates the camaraderie of all senior center activities. “The good Lord has been so good to me,” she said. “I don’t take any pills. The good Lord has been good to our family too.” She believes it is her strong faith.
“We love to be around people and that keeps us young,” Throm said. The three enjoy playing Bingo, exercising, sharing birthdays and activities at the centers that “keep (their) mind alert.”
In fact, Throm helped get a satellite center started in Polk City and inspired her mother, sister, and others to join in the fun. “God puts you in places for a reason,” she said.
With the joyful spirit of all those who attend the Polk City site, the group has dubbed itself “Young at Heart.”
“That Catholic Charities is awesome,” noted Collier with enthusiasm. “And the tea was beautiful. It was a nice get together for everybody.”
Catholic Charities has 14 sites around Polk County and hopes to open two more in Lake Wales and Frostproof. To find a center near you call 863-687-2988, ext. 3002.
By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic staff, May 19, 2023