Posted on Jan 19, 2019
The Rotary Club of Cortlandt Manor in collaboration with the Town of Cortlandt, will be holding its annual Academy Awards Red Carpet Formal Luncheon  for seniors at the Murial H Morabito Community Center in Cortlandt Manor.  It will be held on Tuesday February 12th.  The seniors will be voting on their favorite movies and performers, watching trailers, dancing to a DJ, as well as being treated to a catered hot lunch. 
Its sits, hung up, rarely seen. When seeing it, many wonderful memories flood in. Your High School prom, your son or daughter’s weddings, the cruises you have taken, those special evenings out with a loved one. And then it happens. A smile slowly graces your lips. You've lived a full life and these happy events were wonderful parts of it. There in the depths of darkness, hangs your formal dress or Tux.

It is a rainy Tuesday evening, at the Cortland Colonial Restaurant. A group of highly diversified individuals, with different, unrelated backgrounds are in the midst of a lively, friendly, fun, conversation about a member attending her family’s annual Oscar’s party. And then it happens. An idea to benefit the local community spurned from the thought of a good time being had. This is a Rotary Club Meeting, the idea, a seniors “Afternoon at the Oscars”.

So it begins, like a seed being watered to grow into a tree. Throw the gala at the Murial H. Morabito Community Center for our senior citizens in Cortlandt Manor. The town is approached. Dawn the Senior Service Director, and Becky the Nutritional Site Manager, are overwhelmed with enthusiasm. They are two hard-working Cortlandt employees, responsible for the daily complexities of running the Senior Center. CMR taking the time and money to orchestrate this event is appreciated as a service to the seniors in their community. Its what Rotarians do. CMR members are all proud volunteers.

It can be cold, and cloudy, with a forecast of late afternoon snow in late February. No spirits can be dampened though, for it is the day of “An Afternoon at the Oscars”. All the many complicated details leading up to this event have been done. The formal dresses and Tuxedos are taken out of their darkness and transformed into beautiful true, Red Carpet garments on the seniors. Over 100 of Cortlandt Manor's seniors, are expected to appear for this special event.

Through the doors of the center, you walk into a new, magical world, that only the Oscars can create. The red carpet is out, life-size Oscars at the entrance, photographer at the door. Smile, and say “Oscars”. As you enter, you are greeted with a flute of cider, and popcorn. The tables are emblazoned in black and gold tablecloths, ballots and pencils at the ready of every seat.

At the stroke of noon, after the pictures have been taken, a special “Oscars” hot lunch is served buffet style by the Community Center employees who helped in the setup. The hot food is catered by Sansotta's. CMR believes in supporting small business’ in our local community.

Since this is an awards lunch, and every one was in their best dress, a vote is done for “Best Dressed
Male”, “Best Dressed Female” and “Best Dressed Couple”. Each winner receives a special prize provided by the Rotary. The ballots were also cast and handed in to be tallied at a later date. There will be awards based on the # of correct votes cast.

Rebecca and Dawn will also receive well-deserved awards for their great efforts year-round involving the seniors. A special mention to Kevin and Karen for their hard work at the community center.

When it was all said and done as the seniors filed out, they uttered the words that every Rotarian loves to hear. It is only 2 words, that speak volumes to anyone who has ever volunteered. It makes it worth the effort. Those two words are: “Thank You”.