By Dawn Krebs
FORT PIERCE -- The Christmas tree standing in the middle of the Butterfield's Pharmacy stores in Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce hold much more than just ornaments and garland.
They also hold names and wishes.
The round paper ornaments on the trees hold the names of seniors and small wish lists of what they would like for Christmas this year. It's all part of the program "Be A Santa To A Senior."
The names of the seniors were provided to the office by the St. Lucie County Council on Aging. The seniors are currently in the council's Meals on Wheels program.
"We thank all of the supporters of this program," said Mary Craig, senior and outreach service director for the Council on Aging. "The community really helps to make this holiday so meaningful."
Now in its third year, the program has helped more seniors than ever. This year, the goal is bringing holiday joy to 200 seniors living in St. Lucie County.
"More people are hearing about it, and we've gotten a very positive response from the community and area businesses," said Patricia Strickland, owner of Home Instead Senior Care. "We wanted to give everyone a chance to take part."
Those who want to participate in the program would select a name from one of the trees available at all three Butterfield locations, as well as at Abingdon at Tradition. They would then purchase the wanted items, then return everything to the place they first selected the ornament, where volunteers will wrap the gifts and deliver them to the seniors.
Pam Wade, a Port St. Lucie resident, was in line with her basket containing socks, a cushion and an ornament.
"I think it's great they're doing things for seniors," she said. "I'm so happy to be a part of this."
Ornaments can be selected and gifts will be collected through Dec. 17.
Butterfield's are located at: 5009 Turnpike Feeder Road in Fort Pierce, 1161 U.S. 1 in Fort Pierce and 1707 N.W. St. Lucie West Blvd. in Port St. Lucie. Abingdon at Tradition is located at 10685 S.W. Stony Creek Way in Port St. Lucie.
"We are excited to be a part of it," said Dave Wright, owner of Butterfield's Pharmacy. "It feels good to take care of the seniors that have taken care of us."
For more information, call (772) 205-3900 or go online to www.beasantatoasenior.com.