Valentine’s Day luncheon a sweet treat for Union City seniors


Love was in the air on Saturday afternoon in Union City, where hundreds of seniors made it a happy Valentine’s Day.

“It’s amazing; it brings people together,” says Connie Falconi, of Secaucus, who had a great time with her friends and also drove four seniors to the luncheon. “It brings a sense of happiness.”

Such camaraderie helped everyone connect and feel at ease.

“We want them to get out of the house and mingle with other people and have a good time,” says Commissioner Lucio Fernandez, the town’s director of cultural affairs.

Every year folks return for more because they truly enjoy the event.

“The senior citizens get to come out and have some fun,” says David Fricke, a Union City resident, who counts himself among the repeat ‘customers.’ “Glad the mayor is going to all this trouble.”

Valentine’s Day holds significance for many couples but the meaning runs even deeper.

“Showing love for each other, for our community and for our senior population. It’s a nice way to celebrate the day,” Mayor Brian Stack says.

Despite the frigid temperatures, it was definitely warm inside.

“(They) have a nice lunch and dance and then have another night out or in this case, another day out,” Fernandez says.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remind those who aren’t your partner that you love them.

“It’s nice to be here together with our friends; family… it’s the day of love,” says Mercedes Montesino, of Union City.

Seniors are really the backbone of the city.

“Truly out there, always part of the community,” the mayor says. “Just people coming out to be friendly, to celebrate with each other is so important.”

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Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time, Jillian enjoys yoga; working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Follow on Twitter @JillianRis



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