Sun City residents Ruth and Don Parrish have been going to the Peoria Community Center for seven years. Part of it is their love for the senior adult program’s activities, but part of it is also sentimental.

“We met here,” Ruth said. “In this very room at a Thursday afternoon tea dance.”

The Parrishes were at the community center Thursday for the senior adult program’s first of three ice cream socials this summer. While they said they come nearly every day for lunch, today was different.

“Today we came for the ice cream,” she said. “And I’ll tell you, if I had to choose between lunch and ice cream I would choose the ice cream.”

For just a dollar, anyone who chose to attend, Peoria resident or not, could make their own sundae from the ice cream up. Theresa Celiz, who has been volunteering with the senior adult program for five years, had her sundae with lots of banana slices, a generous helping of strawberry syrup and a mountain of whipped cream.

“I love ice cream,” she said. “It’s a wonderful treat.”

Bill Moss, recreation coordinator for the city of Peoria, said the ice cream socials typically do draw an enthusiastic crowd, though they are just one part of a larger itinerary.

“We actually try to plan an entire day of activities,” he said. “Like today, for instance, we began with bingo, some other activities, then lunch and the ice cream social, with live entertainment, and afterward we’ll have a ballroom dance. The idea is to have something to do all day long.”

Moss said the city partners with a sponsor to provide the ice cream, which helps to curb costs. The next ice cream social will be noon July 14, with another to follow in mid-August. Before the next ice cream social, though, the senior adult program will play host to Salute to America. From 9:30-11:30 July 1, attendees can enjoy a variety of Independence Day-themed entertainment and refreshments. There is no charge to attend and, like all the senior adult program’s events, anyone can attend no matter where they live.

“Absolutely,” Moss said. “The more the merrier.”

The Peoria Community Center is located at 8335 W. Jefferson St., Peoria. For information, call 623-773-7436.

Jeff Dempsey may be reached at 623-876-2531 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.