miercuri, 4 mai 2011

Stooping to Serve - Wizards Treat Area Seniors to Holiday Cheer

Ward 7 seniors were among those feted on Dec. 4 as part of the Washington Wizards annual “12 days of holiday cheer.” For the second year, a group organized by Dorothy Douglas, then chair of ANC 7D, joined
together for a luxury bus ride from the Big Chair Chess Club to the Verizon Center’s Acela Club. At the Acela Club, seniors from around the city were treated to a festive meal, live holiday jazz and an opportunity to mingle with members of the Wizards team.

Some in the Ward 7 crowd were especially eager to talk with interim head coach Ed Tapscott, who had been in his new job only 10 days after moving up from director of player development following Eddie Jordan’s dismissal on Nov. 24.

“I told [Tapscott] I was shocked when they fi red Eddie Jordan,” said Rita Pendleton, a 30-year-resident of Ward 7 and longtime Wizards fan. “He said Eddie Jordan was a friend, but that he hoped to improve the team’s record now that he was in the job. … We’ll see.”

Even those not particularly hooked on basketball enjoyed the food, conversation and ambience, including service by the Wizards. Tapscott, assistant coach Phil Hubbard, President Ernie Grunfeld and rookie center JaVale McGee supplemented the wait staff , delivering meals and chatting with guests.

Many, like the Reverend Edward Harris, were tickled by the contrast between 7-foot-tall McGee and the substantially shorter crowd Abe and Irene Pollin were hosting. But another contrast was also evident, as the 20-year old, just starting his career, shook hands with guests representing decades of experience in their fields: the Ward 7 contingent alone included ministers, church mothers and other congregational leaders; ANC commissioners and neighborhood leaders; a former vice president of the Washington Saturday College, now in reorganization; a student exploring spirituality at the Tai Sophia Institute; individuals with decades of experience in government, business, industry and education and continuing interests to pursue.

The few not-yet-seniors invited to join the festivities were delighted to see the young McGee and other Wizards bending to serve and greet community elders. After all, said Sashia Jones of the Wizards organization, “seniors mean a lot to the community.”

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