Senior residents celebrate Valentine’s Day with annual Sweetheart’s Ball

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Guests serve themselves food catered by The Root Cellar Cafe & Brewery during the Golden Sweetheart’s Ball, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, at the San Marcos Activity Center.

Abby Gutierrez, Life and Arts Reporter

As the song “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” played in the background, the couples began tapping to the beat of their own drum. For some, it had been years since they had been able to enjoy themselves on the dance floor.

The couples glided along the dance floor. The men twirled their partners around and around, not once losing eye contact. Whether it was through catching up with close friends or dancing the night away to a ’70s classic, the residents were able to enjoy a night at the 21st annual Golden Sweetheart’s Ball.

The Golden Sweetheart’s Ball is an annual Valentine’s Day celebration for San Marcos and surrounding local area residents over 50 years old coordinated by the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Committee. Feb. 14, San Marcos residents, 50 years of age and older, were able to turn back the clock to a time of their youth.

Senior citizens program coordinator Nick Riali said the event sold out in ticket sales for the first time since 2016 with over 150 senior residents attending. Riali said the event is to give the senior citizens a night to celebrate themselves and each other.

“(The seniors) always really enjoy it. We always get a lot of the same people coming back here year after year,” Riali said. “They’ve asked us to do more if we could.”

Love on the dance floor

Beth Bisett and Frank Sergeant have been together for 32 years and are both retired San Marcos residents. Sergeant used to teach ballroom dance at Arthur Murray Dance Studio. He and Bisett enjoy dancing the foxtrot, swing and jitterbug.

“We like to dance, but we haven’t danced in a long time,” Sergeant said.

Sergeant said Bisett makes him smile most of the time and he appreciates her in many ways.

“The Amazing Rhythm Aces have a song, and there’s a lyric in one of their songs. It goes like this ‘a man needs a good woman who’ll see his faults and still be kind,’ and that’s what I cherish about Beth,” Sergeant said.

True friendship

In celebration of authentic friendship, a group of senior ladies and one man from Sunrise Village, a retirement community in San Marcos, joined the community in its festivities at the Sweetheart’s Ball, ready to enjoy a buffet of food, dance to hit songs and spend time with one another.

Sunrise Village resident Kathy Colvin said the residents at the retirement center build each other up and help one another during hard times.

“We’re just like a big family in that community,” Colvin said. “Everybody takes care of everybody. We all look after our neighbors. If they need help and we know it, then we take care of that.”

Colvin said there are about 100 residents at Sunrise Village and many of them battle cancer and other medical illnesses. Sunrise Village resident Sandra Collett has battled and survived breast cancer and said at the end of the day, all people can control is their attitude.

“While going through that, you discover the only thing that you have much control over is your attitude, so you might as well be sure to make it positive,” Collett said. “We’re all out here having fun, having a good attitude keeps us young.”

Collett said that she believes friendship should be based on respect and that being kind to others always comes back full circle.

“It’s a little bit like Jonny Appleseed ya know,” Collett said. “If you sow the seeds, then, sure enough, a tree will grow.”

First time at the ball

San Marcos senior residents Anastacia and Rudy Soliz have been married for 37 years. Together they have a daughter, two sons and two grandsons.

Anastacia said she and her husband usually celebrate Valentine’s Day every year.

“My husband has always been the person to bring flowers and gifts every year,” Anastacia said. “He makes me smile every day.”

Anastacia said she believes when you meet a person, there’s a certain feeling you get when you just know that person is the one for you.

“I’m a twin, so I’ve always asked him, ‘how did you know you wanted me instead of my sister, and he’s always said ‘I just knew you were the one,’” Anastacia said.

Anastacia Soliz said young people in a relationship should persevere, be honest with one another, communicate and love one another.

“Never give up on your relationship just because it’s hard. It doesn’t mean you can’t work it out,” Anastacia Soliz said. “You just can’t give up.”

For information about San Marcos senior residential activities and events, visit the San Marcos Parks and Recreation 50+ Programs webpage.


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