2001 Golden Years Holiday Celebration

Triangle Seniors Celebrate the Season With CBC
The 2001 Golden Years Holiday Celebration

Triangle area seniors gathered in downtown Raleigh for the 44th Annual WRAL-TV5 Golden Years Holiday Celebration at noon on Thursday, December 18, 2001. The seniors enjoyed a feast of traditional Christmas favorites while being entertained by some top quality talent.


Seniors gathered for the 44th Annual Golden Years Celebration on December 18th.

Capitol Broadcasting Company and WRAL-TV have proudly sponsored the annual event since its inception. This year, Harris Teeter Stores came on board as a principle sponsor to help make the holiday meal possible. As always, the Raleigh Parks & Recreation Department helped coordinate the celebration, as the organization is an integral part of managing the forty Golden Years Association Clubs in the Triangle.

A veritable banquet of talent took the stage as the attendees dined. As always, CBC retiree Ray Wilkinson began the afternoon affair with a few Cecil & Leonard jokes. WRAL-TV Anchor Debra Morgan & Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel emceed the program and, by special request, Fishel joined the entertainment by playing “White Christmas” on his tuba. AJ Fletcher Opera Institute singers Lucy Tucker Yates and David Schmidt treated the crowd with holiday music and the Tapestry of Ligon G.T. Middle School tapped their way into the seniors’ hearts. Vicki Marie Thomas sang a few inspirational tunes and the Casablanca Orchestra wrapped up the event with Big Band music for dancing and a few holiday tunes of their own.

As a special part of this year’s presentation North Carolina News Network Farm Editor Ken Tanner gave a salute to the Armed Forces, police & fire fighting personnel, with the Raleigh Police Dept. Color Guard presenting the U.S. flag. Tanner recognized the veterans present and all waved flags as the Casablanca Orchestra and their singer, Debbie Bennett, led the crowd in a ringing rendition of “God Bless America.”

The Golden Years Association of the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department sponsors Golden Years Clubs for senior adults aged 55 and older throughout the city. Clubs meet throughout the year and enjoy activities such as hiking, bowling, workshops, trips and a myriad of other activities and special events. Such events include the Golden Years Holiday Celebration, held in the Raleigh Convention & Conference Center Complex.


Singers David Schmidt & Lucy Tucker Yates delighted the crowd with Christmas carols.

Seniors enjoyed a lunch of traditional holiday favorites.

Tap dancers from Ligon Middle School performed ala Rockette style for the crowd.

The Raleigh Police Dept. Color Guard presented the flag for a special tribute.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker offered thanks to the seniors for all they do for the community.


Seniors danced to the tunes of the Big Band era.


WRAL-TV personalities Greg Fishel & Debra Morgan emceed the afternoon event.

WRAL-TV’s Greg Fishel treated the crowd to a solo on the tuba.

Seniors showed their patriotism in the tribute to America.

Tapestry, tap dancers from Ligon Middle School, danced to a holiday tune.

Dancing began to the Orchestra’s rendition of “In The Mood.”

Patriotism was high during the singing of “God Bless America.”


Seniors donned their holiday best for the Christmas gathering.


Vicki Marie Thomas performed a few powerful inspirational numbers.

Seniors got golden treatment at the celebration.

Attendees enjoy the holiday music and the fellowship with friends.

The crowd joined in a heartfelt tribute to the Armed Forces, police & fire fighters.
Happy Holidays to all
Golden Agers
from CBC & WRAL-TV5.

Debbie Bennett sang along with the Casablanca Orchestra.


The sax section of the Casablanca Orchestra kicked off their set with “In The Mood” to get the crowd dancing.


The orchestra wouldn’t be complete without the slide trombone.

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