SANDPOINT — Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone.
The Sandpoint Area Seniors, however, hope to make it an occasion that everyone can enjoy this year with an evening of dinner and dancing for families, friends and individuals.
“We have a lot of single people here,” said Ellen Weissman, SASi executive director. “So it is not just for couples, but couples can come, too,”
And they can bring their children, parents, grandparents, friends — people of all ages are invited to join the celebration, though an RSVP is required.
This is the first year SASi has hosted such an event, and Weissman said Valentine’s Day holds a special place in her heart because it was her mom’s birthday.
“It has just always been a special holiday,” Weissman added.
Dinner for the evening will also be an introduction of SASi’s new chef, Greg Bolen, who will be cooking up a delicious meal for the event.
Bolen ended up at SASi on a September day as he was on his way to apply for a weekend job as a dietary aide for the hospital. On his way over, he stopped in for lunch at SASi and, in chatting with Weissman, learned they were looking for a chef.
“They do a lot of good work here,” Bolen said of SASi. “Working with seniors as long as I have, this is a better fit for me than working at the hospital.”
For the past few years, Bolen worked as a nursing home administrator, which required traveling for months at a time to southern Idaho with his dog, he said, and he didn’t want to do that anymore. Prior to that, he worked at Life Care Center of Sandpoint for 14 years, 10 of those years as a dietary manager. Prior to that, he was a chef in Spokane for several years after going to culinary arts school at Spokane Community College. As an executive chef during an Amway event at the Spokane Convention Center, he said, it was the largest event he ever catered with 2,500 people in attendance over three days.
Weissman said with Bolen in the kitchen, SASi plans to kick off an international dinner series soon, most likely starting with some French cuisine to compliment a Bastille Day ice cream social held last summer.
For the Valentine’s Day dinner, Bolen will be cooking up chicken wrapped asparagus, bacon Caesar salad, Vichy carrots and rice pilaf there will be cheesecake for dessert. Weissman said Sysco Foodservice is donating a portion of the meal to help out, as the dinner is a fundraiser to assist SASi in funding activities and programs for seniors.
The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children and includes dinner and dancing featuring SASi’s house band, Country Plus, with Betty and Harold Overland and Bob and Joanne Brown. Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. and end around 9 p.m.
Tickets are available at SASi, 820 Main St., or call for reservations at 208-263-6860.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.