By Emma Young
Westminster at Lake Ridge’s New Year’s Eve “Roaring Twenties” Gala promises to be “fantastic!,” enthused Robert Lancelotta, Executive Director of the Westminster Ingleside Foundation. “We’re really excited. It is something people really enjoy,” he said.
The popular gala, a now-annual event, will include live music by the band Wait ‘n See, entertainment, and delicious food and drink. One of the most crowd-pleasing features, the gala includes a virtual casino. “We hire a specialty company that comes in and sets it up. Using ‘play’ money, guests enjoy roulette tables, blackjack, and other casino games. It is a lot of fun!” exclaimed Lancelotta.
The gala is $25 per individual guest and $45 per couple, with discounts for additional guests. Appetizers, a free drink, a raffle ticket, and $1000 “Westminster Dollars” for use at the casino are included, along with live entertainment throughout.
The gala, while noted for being great fun, also serves a charitable purpose: it is a fundraiser for the Westminster at Lake Ridge Resident Supporting Fund, a part of the Westminster Ingleside Foundation, which provides financial aid for residents of this senior living community who have outlived their own income and assets.
Lancelotta has seen the personal difference the Foundation, which supports residents at communities in Lake Ridge, VA; King Farm, MD; and Washington, D.C., makes. At one site, a resident told Lancelotta she hadn’t been to the dentist in years, fearing she wouldn’t have enough money to pay for ongoing care. “’Make an appointment right away and go’,” Lancelotta recalled telling her. “’I don’t want you to worry anymore. This fund is here for you. We’ll figure it out and you’ll be fine’,” he reassured her.
“People work their whole lives and thought they had prepared well to retire,” noted Lancelotta. “Yet people are living longer. That particular resident is healthy and I’m sure will be with us for a long time. Like many, there is no ability to get income elsewhere. We’re pleased to offer this help to our residents.”
The Roaring Twenties Gala will be roaring on December 31, 2016, from 7:00 p. m. until 11:00 p. m. at Westminster at Lake Ridge on Clipper Drive. Costumes are optional, and guests must be 21 or older. For more information or tickets, contact Joe Fleig at 571.572.3401 or WLR2016Gala@gmail.com by December 15.
Lancelotta encourages everyone to attend: “It’s a nice, safe way to have a lot of fun with people, gamble, and enjoy New Year’s Eve!”
Emma Young is a freelance writer residing in Montclair.