The Oakwood Waits start off the Golden Years Celebration with traditional Christmas carols.
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The annual Golden Years Holiday Celebration, sponsored by Capitol Broadcasting and the Raleigh Parks & Rec, kept the Christmas spirit warm and bright in downtown Raleigh on Thursday, December 15, 2011. Seniors from the 48 Golden Years Clubs in Raleigh filled the Raleigh Convention Center for the 9am breakfast and following program.
WRAL-TV Anchors Debra Morgan and Gerald Owens returned as emcees this year while new WRAL-TV Anchor Jackie Hyland enjoyed her first time at the event. Hyland interviewed several seniors in the crowd, while Morgan and Owens announced musical groups and drew for prizes.
Carmen Rayfield of Raleigh Parks & Rec presented 459 stockings to the Salvation Army. Golden Years Clubs had worked to fill them to bring to the Celebration. Attendees also brought coats and toys for WRAL-TV’s Coats for the Children Campaign.
|WRAL-TV Anchors Debra Morgan (above, left), Gerald Owens & Jackie Hyland prove to be popular dance partners at the 2011 Golden Years Celebration.|
“We’re still going strong and that’s what it’s all about,” Raleigh City Council Member Eugene Weeks told the crowd as he brought greetings from the Mayor. He smiled as he proudly claimed himself a member of the senior group.
“I tell you, don’t give up,” said Weeks, “because you’re just getting started, no matter your age.”
Musical guests The Oakwood Waits kicked off the entertainment with some traditional carols and audience sing-alongs. The quintet Gospel Sensations provided the invocation with a rendition of The National Anthem. Seniors also enjoyed dancing from the Holly Springs High School Junior Rockettes, and tunes from sisters Eternal Praise.
The Cardinal Singers sang a song for WRAL-TV Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel, “White Christmas” after his favorite type of weather, as well as telling a joke worthy of the WRAL weatherman. Ironically Fishel was at a conference learning more about severe weather; he is usually a fixture at the December event.
WRAL-TV Anchor Jackie Hyland conducts interviews from the crowd, including Vince, who is celebrating his 83rd birthday.
The Casablanca Orchestra wrapped up the event with some big band music fit for dancing. Seniors took to the dance floor, and the WRAL-TV anchors quickly became sought after partners.
WRAL-TV is putting together a “Golden Years Holiday Special” which will air on Saturday, December 24th at 7:30pm on WRAL.