A total of 180 seniors attended State Rep. Carolyn Dykema’s annual Senior Picnic on Aug. 29 at the Faith Community Church. Originally planned to be held at the Hopkinton YMCA as is traditional, the event was moved indoors due to the high temperatures forecast for that day.
Welcoming seniors from Hopkinton, Holliston, Southborough and Westborough to the air-conditioned venue, Dykema recalled the picnic’s history, started years ago by Hopkinton residents Bob and Jackie Lavoie as a way to bring seniors in the community together to share a meal and connect with each other.
“There is no more important job in my work than to continue this picnic,” said Dykema.
Dykema also spoke briefly about current issues being worked on at the state level, including her work on environmental issues and benefits for veterans.
“All things local are near and dear to my heart,” said Dykema, “and I am very grateful to do what I do.”
Joining Dykema at the picnic were Congressman Joe Kennedy, Mass. Senate President Karen Spilka, State Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Secretary of State William Galvin. Kennedy spoke about the upcoming state primary and the importance of voting, while Eldridge spoke about the pleasure of working with Dykema on environmental issues. Galvin, seeking re-election in a contested race, also spoke about the upcoming elections and urged seniors to get out and vote.
“We work very hard every single day to make sure we improve the quality of life of our seniors, of our veterans,” said Spilka. “We want to stay and will stay number one in the country.”
But the highlight of the afternoon was of course the food, the camaraderie and the opportunity for the seniors to mix and mingle with their representatives in a casual relaxed setting. Dykema and the other officials could be seen going table to table, engaging constituents in conversation, and listening earnestly to what they had to say. As the picnic drew to a close, Dykema encouraged the seniors to stay in touch, keeping her focused on what she needs to do for local towns.