Northbrook-area Senior Club members get their groove on -- and you can join them

  • Emmarie Manalo, 7, entertained the St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook parish Senior Club as its members got together for the first time in 17 months recently for a picnic at the Village Green gazebo in Northbrook.

    Emmarie Manalo, 7, entertained the St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook parish Senior Club as its members got together for the first time in 17 months recently for a picnic at the Village Green gazebo in Northbrook. Courtesy of Mona Lukas

  • The St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook parish Senior Club got together for the first time in 17 months recently for a picnic at the Village Green in Northbrook.

    The St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook parish Senior Club got together for the first time in 17 months recently for a picnic at the Village Green in Northbrook. Courtesy of Mona Lukas

  • Singing a variety of patriotic, secular and nonsecular songs, Emmarie Manalo, 7, entertained members of the St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook parish Senior Club at the Village Green gazebo in Northbrook.

    Singing a variety of patriotic, secular and nonsecular songs, Emmarie Manalo, 7, entertained members of the St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook parish Senior Club at the Village Green gazebo in Northbrook. Courtesy of Mona Lukas

 
 
Updated 7/22/2021 3:30 PM

They were on top of the world.

For the first time since February 2020, on July 19 members of the St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook parish Senior Club assembled at Northbrook's Village Green Park gazebo for a couple midmorning hours of song, dance, food and, most importantly, camaraderie.

 

"They were real happy to see each other," said Dennis Manalo, on the Senior Club's executive board.

"This is so important because with seniors, being locked in for such a long time, their physical as well as mental (state) was greatly affected. To be able to come back out, being able to socialize, I was really happy to see that. And they got a free concert."

For that, he pulled out a ringer -- his 7-year-old daughter, Emmarie. Having presented her to his fellow Senior Club executive board members at a June meeting, she passed the audition.

"They loved what my daughter did singing," said Dennis Manalo, a parishioner who -- though only 50 -- said he was invited to join the Senior Club as somewhat of an honorary member.

The honest-to-goodness members got a kick out of the musical entertainment on Monday, preceded by the Pledge of Allegiance and concluded in prayer.

Emmarie Manalo's secular and nonsecular repertoire -- "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America," "How Great Thou Art," "Amazing Grace," "Sweet Caroline" and The Carpenters' "Top of the World" -- found an appreciative audience. The seniors presented her with flowers after her performance.

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"We had people dancing on the side, we had people singing," Dennis Manalo said. " ... They were line dancing, I loved it."

People remain concerned about safety risks during the ongoing pandemic. Past meetings of the Senior Club, which charges annual dues of $15 and often features guest speakers, attracted about 60 people, Manalo said.

Monday's picnic, across the street from St. Norbert Catholic School and the St. Norbert Catholic Church at 1809 Walters Ave., attracted around 40 seniors. Instead of family-style dining prepackaged food was the ticket.

Communications manager Amy Principi said typically Senior Club takes a break during the summer and resumes in the fall, but people interested in joining may sign up for an email newsletter, look online for the St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook weekly bulletin or inquire at a Sunday Mass.

Manalo noted the club is not exclusive to parishioners but is open to all.

The parish website is northbrookcatholic.church; the phone number is (847) 272-7090.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

After a pandemic lockdown and 17-month pause in Senior Club meetings, "we kind of had to get to know each other again," Manalo said.

On Monday near the gazebo, the reintroduction was splendid.

"Their interaction with each other is wonderful," Manalo said.

■ ■ ■

HOW TO JOIN

What: St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook Senior Club

Next meeting: 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20

Where: St. Norbert Church, 1809 Walters Ave., Northbrook, in the basement hall. There is elevator access.

Good to know: All seniors are welcome

Info: Call the church office at (847) 272-7090 or email mona@northbrookcatholic.church.

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