Every year, the residents at Renaissance Home on Washington Street in Northampton have a Valentine’s Day celebration.
“The staff gets together and elects the king and queen for the event,” said Gloria Gontkosky, the care center’s director.
The duo is paraded into the dining room and has a separate table set up with gifts and some unique treats.
“It’s always a grand event, and everyone here gets a kick out of it,” she said.
Renaissance has an active social program.
“We think it’s important to have them get out and around. Sometimes, they don’t want to go to an activity, but we do our best to cajole them into getting out of their rooms,” she said.
Both the current king and queen have lived most of their lives in Northampton. King Thomas Seier was the oldest of three brothers and has one sister. He worked at Service Tire and Northampton Oil and Heating. He is 75 and enjoys the time he spends at Renaissance.
“The staff treats me well,” he said.
Rose Almond is the queen. At 94, she is one of the older members at Renaissance. The whole event moved her to tears. Almond worked at D&D and Cross Country Clothes. She has four children. Her son Michael came to the ceremony. Almond claims she was never idle. She enjoyed doing crafts with her grandchildren and gardening.
During her free time, she was cooking or baking strudel. Her son had the great benefit of having her as a baby sitter, a task she enjoyed immensely.
The king and queen settled into their corner table with a little table chatter to catch up on the week’s activities.