I hope your Christmas this year was merry and bright. Mine was great. All of my children and their better halves, my grandchildren, and my beautiful wife of over 35 years were all together to celebrate our best Christmas ever. (I know some of you are asking, “Joe has been married to the same woman for over 35 years? Is she going for sainthood, or has she just lost her mind?” The answer is very simple. In my definition of our marriage, one person is always right, and the other one is me.) The Columbian Home looked more beautiful than ever during this holiday season, and I would again like to thank all of you who helped make it so. Also, to all the members who tried dancing with the headless Christmas tree lady with the crown – please get some help. Although, I do have to admit she’s quite a looker.

Our New Year’s Eve gala was a smashing success. Folks turned out in their finest to dance the night away to the sounds of KATO and enjoy a delicious meal. Many thanks to all who attended – it was a full house!

On Saturday, January 20 (7:00 – 10:00PM), the beautiful Columbian Home is having a special Solid Gold 60s & 70s Dance Party with DJ Rob Riley. He will be playing the oldies and goodies that most of us still know the words to (or at least know when to stop humming). Mark your calendars and make your reservations now and come out to burn some calories on the dance floor (or, if you’re like me, stare at the ceiling until the First Lady says, “It’s a slow song so get up and dance.”). Either way, you’ll have a great time, so mark your calendars for January 20.

Looking ahead to February, our Fabulous Valentine’s Dinner Dance will be on Saturday, February 10th. Our entertainment for this evening of romance will be provided by the lovely and talented Kristen Morganstern. This will be her premiere appearance at the Columbian Home, and she might even sing one of my favorite songs, “She Only Made Whiskey, But I Loved Her Still.” Make your reservations early so you don’t miss this magical evening.

The Columbian Home is celebrating 65 years of serving our members. Our building is over 110 years old. Like most organizations, we have facility maintenance and upgrade needs. Currently, the kitchen is our main concern. The area has not been seriously upgraded since the 1970s. Design, engineering, construction, and outfitting projects of this scope are expensive. Our early estimates are in the $350,000 range. Beyond our food operations, related improvements will include new handicapped access to fully access our downstairs facilities – something that is long overdue. To help fund this effort, we are appealing to the generosity of our members. Toward the end of January, you will receive details in the mail on what we all can do to make this project a success. Let’s make the Beautiful Columbian Home’s 65th Birthday one to remember. Thanks in advance for your support and patience while we undertake these much-needed renovations.

It is with a very heavy heart that I must inform you that our President Emeritus, Mike Garger, passed away on Christmas Eve. Mike was our guiding light here at the beautiful Columbian Home. Without his leadership and generosity, the Columbian Home would have ceased to exist. He led us through the bad times and encouraged us through the good times. He was a friend and mentor to me, and I will greatly miss him. Thank you, Mike, for all you did and may God bless you and grant you eternal rest.

Stay safe and warm, and please remember Mike in your prayers, just as I will.

All the best,
Joe Mascari, President