Pinecrest Pioneers’ Luncheon

Twice annually, the Village of Pinecrest proudly honors the seniors who live in the community, many of whom helped in the formation of Pinecrest. On December 2nd, our newly elected Mayor Joe Corradino helped greet everyone at the community room at Evelyn Greer Park.

It is the over-80 set that officially gets invited for a free lunch filled with conversation and camaraderie, but with friends and family joining, the crowd is a good mix of 55-90+ year olds. “This is one of the best events we hold because we have a whole set of our population who really can benefit from our senior programming throughout the Village and this is a highlight of that,” explained Corradino. “It’s living history, since many in the room can tell you stories about when Pinecrest was orchards and an airstrip, well before incorporation.”

This all started four years ago when former Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner met Joyce Diehl, who was 89 at the time and still mowed her own lawn. Lerner recalls, “It occurred to me that there must be many other ‘Joyces’ living in Pinecrest, and that we should seek them out, bring them together and celebrate all of our Pioneers. And so, I looked up all residents 90 and over and there were more then 100. Then we backed it up to 80 and older and it was more than 600!  Thus, our Pinecrest Pioneers were born.”

Sponsors Baptist Health, Healthsouth, RE/MAX Advance Realty, Care Patrol, Whole Foods and many others were on hand to help serve up the lunch, including Pinecrest’s Seniors Activity Coordinator Isabel Dossul, “We celebrate our Pinecrest seniors and I love being a part of this.” As everyone ate, they were serenaded by the Vineland K-8 Strings trio. There were raffles too.

Ruth Braddock attended and was celebrating her 93rd birthday. “I’ve lived in my same house for over 60 years and I loved celebrating because I’m amazed I’m still alive,” explained Ruth. “I stay active and swim, just like my father taught me so many years ago. Pinecrest is a beautiful place with beautiful people and they are so good at addressing community needs.”

Braddock was a teacher at Howard Drive Elementary and taught Government Palmetto Senior High many years ago when that was a requirement for graduation. “It was so long ago, the main topic was Americanism versus Communism.”