Cass COA hosts annual Valentine’s Day lunch

CASSOPOLIS — As romance fills the air and lovers buy each other flowers, chocolates and all other varieties of gushy gifts and frivolities, Cass County Council on Aging will open its locations in Cassopolis and Dowagiac on Valentine’s Day for a simple time of lunch and socializing.

The $5 barbeque chicken lunch and raffle will be part of COA’s annual celebration of love and romance, not only for older Cass county residents, but people of all ages.

A Valentine’s Day lunch will be hosted starting at noon at both the Lowe Center, located at 60525 in Cassopolis, and Front Street Crossing, located at 227 S. Front Street in Dowagiac. Although the meal costs money, the event itself will be free, with raffle tickets at the door for 12 centerpiece/gift basket prizes.

Leslie Vargo, the lifelong learning coordinator at Cass COA, sees events like the Valentine’s Day lunch as more than filler events for commercial holidays. Vargo sees the lunch as a necessary opportunity to get snowbirds out of the house, and wholesome community outreach for COA.

“This time of year, people are looking for something to do. They’re interested socializing and interacting,” Vargo said. “A lot of people don’t realize we’re here and what we do. We’re here for social events, and everyone here is able and agile and out in the community.

“Our social events are fun and keeps spirits up, especially if they haven’t been out in winter.” she continued.

Vargo commented on the simplistic view that Cass COA is only an entity for older members of the greater Cass County community. She believes that events like the Valentine’s Day lunch are for everyone, and she is pleased that such events do see diverse age groups.

Vargo is especially pleased, however, at the change of heart many people have once they attend Cass COA events.

“People who have never been here are shocked at how nice it is, and most of them come back. People don’t realize what’s here,” she said. “Everybody is always happy. We don’t get grumpy people here.”

As the seasons change and winter places a damper on activities, Vargo sees regular activities and events like the Valentine’s Day lunch as crucial for morale. Although Cass COA hosts events for most major and secondary holidays, Valentine’s Day is special for COA because it’s more laid back and fun, according to Vargo.

“A lot of people might not celebrate Valentine’s Day if they didn’t come in here. Any reason for us to decorate and have a party, we’re always looking for a reason,” Vargo said.

Aside from holiday events, Cass COA hosts regular functions and activities involving everything from Euchre tournaments and bingo nights, ceramics classes and knitting groups and beyond. Readers can learn more about Cass COA and follow its events calendar by visiting casscoa.org, or the Cass County Council on Aging Facebook page.

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports one new COVID-19 death

Business

Biggby Coffee location coming to Edwardsburg

Berrien County

Berrien County Board of Health discusses COVID-19 vaccine deployment

News

Teens arraigned on felony charges following police pursuit

Berrien County

Honor Credit Union announces new southwest Michigan regional manager

Dowagiac

National Guard to host TroopsGiving Food Drive in Dowagiac

Berrien County

Michigan State Police seeks participants for National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

Business

Shelton’s Farm Market helping to feed families in need with holiday gift baskets

Giving

Niles dealership collects food, toys for those in need

News

With stolen cars on the rise, Niles police urge drivers to lock vehicles

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club, Rotary Foundation gifts $1,000 to C. Wimberley’s Feed the Hungry campaign

Berrien County

PACE of Southwest Michigan announces new CEO

News

Niles teens arrested following vehicle pursuit

News

Two sheriff’s deputies treated following Niles Township apartment fire

Dowagiac

Construction begins on Dowagiac District Library’s Carnegie building

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Southwest Michigan counties report new COVID-19 deaths

Business

Cottage Gallery to host Santa for holiday event

Dowagiac

Tree of Love Campaign to host virtual celebration Thursday

Giving

Michigan Gateway Community Foundation grants $20,000 to help City of Niles fund home repairs

News

Niles River Santa sets sail

Business

Dowagiac tree farm sees business soar amid pandemic

News

PHOTO STORY: Niles Amtrak depot gets dressed for Christmas

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Following Thanksgiving weekend, Michigan reports 360,449 cases, 9,134 deaths

Dowagiac

SMC Foundation Board stakes annual appeal to Strong Start