Amy Edgett

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December 22, 2011
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Active Adults | Did you hear the bell ring?

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Clarence, Angel Second Class, certainly earned her wings with a scrumptiously festive Holiday Wish Box party for area seniors, complete with Santa’s arrival via a Truckee Fire truck, an elaborate spread of sandwiches, savory spreads and sweets, “Frank” tinkling holiday tunes on the ivories and presents. There were oodles of gifts for all.Clarence, A2C (aka Jesse Griffin) began as an elf two years ago, and now heads up the Truckee Donner Senior Apartment seniors’ wish list and holiday party. Clarence really does have the magic touch. She said, “I look at people, and know what they need or want.” (She also pays attention year round and gets help from Santa’s wish list).About six months ago, Ritz-Carlton Human Resource Coordinator Bernie Atkinson met Clarence, A2C and incorporated Sierra Seniors into the company’s Community Footprints goodwill arm. “It’s a great opportunity to help, adding the seniors is a great involvement,” said Atkinson. “We had 24 departments, from culinary to guest services to banquets and spa, that donated.” Five Ritz-Carlton representatives were on hand to hand out gifts, serve food and visit.Many, many helping hands pitched in, including Jeff “Sparky” Sparksworthy from Truckee Sunrise Rotary, Peg and Jon Friesen from the Truckee Police Department’s V.I.C.E. volunteer organization, the Ritz-Carlton crew and more.“Gratitudes donated ornaments for the tree, all the ‘elves’ helped shop and wrap, BNI, Leticia’s preschool made scarves, there are just too many to name, but that’s how this community is, it just comes together,” said Clarence.It is better to give than to receive, but organizer Clarence, A2C was tickled to get her holiday wish filled: a goldfish from the Truckee Police Department. “I just want to say a big thank you for ‘P.D.,’” said Clarence of her new pet. “Get it, P.D.? Petey?”Santa, whose identity is sworn to secrecy, helped hand out bag after bag, packed with goodies purchased specifically for each recipient. The illustrious go-to guy suffered a slight case of windburn on his trip, apparent from his pink cheeks, but it did not dampen his spirits. “If everyone saw the world through Santa’s eyes, there would be no war,” said he.“I like to play it forward,” said Clarence of the gala affair, which packed the commons room with people, red and white decorations and good cheer. “That’s what life’s all about.”

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Dec 22, 2011 06:56PM Published Dec 22, 2011 06:15PM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.