Celebrating 50 years of marital bliss


MASS honoring half-century couples

By BRANDON LACHANCE

Staff writer

MENDOTA – Not many can lay to the claim they have been married for 50 years.

But, if you can, it’s time to celebrate with your soulmate at the 50th Anniversary Party hosted by Mendota Area Senior Services (MASS) at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 29 at the Feik Senior Parlor at the Mendota Civic Center.

“We would like to have every couple in Mendota that has been married 50 or more years come out and have some fun. We try to do some little things with them,” said MASS Executive Director, Rayanne Sester. “They love to reminisce. In the past, we played a game similar to the Newlywed Game where we would ask questions like, ‘What kind of flowers did your wife carry at your wedding?’

“Some of them can remember and some of them can’t. They’ll still branch off and tell stories about their wedding day. They talk about chivalries. Back then they didn’t go on honeymoons. They stayed in a house somewhere. People would go where the couple was staying and beat on pans and make a lot of noise. They’d make them come out.

“It’s always fun and interesting to hear them talk about their wedding experiences.”

Sester, who has been with the organization for 29 years, remembers stories of horse and carriage weddings, and weddings of all sizes and all over the country.

The couples are influenced to bring photos of their special day 50 or more years ago to the party.

The event, which didn’t take place for two years because of COVID-19, will feature cupcakes, coffee and punch.

Before March 2020, MASS would see 12-14 couples annually but figure to have a few less this year because of the pandemic.

But in April, Sester was reminded one set of significant others will be there to celebrate – Dick and Ida Bergmark.

“We did a fraud program in April. They came and if she didn’t tell me once, she told me 10 times, ‘We’re going to be married 70 years this year,’” said Sester. “I told her, ‘I’m so happy for you. We’re going to do the 50th Anniversary party. She confirmed they’ll be there. She’s pretty proud of that 70-year mark, as she should be because that’s a huge thing.

“It honors them because anymore, it’s a pretty rare thing to hit a mark like 70 years of marriage.”

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