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Duarte Shows Love to Seniors with Valentine's Surprise

With so many seniors experiencing Valentine’s Day differently this year, the City of Duarte is showing some extra love to its own local seniors. The City’s Parks and Recreation team is delivering Valentines courtesy of Cupid, or rather, the Duarte Senior Center.

In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, which falls on Sunday this year, city staff are playing Cupid’s helpers, packaging and delivering Valentine gifts made up of red carnations, heart shaped balloons and handmade cards. Packing in the morning and delivering by afternoon, city staff are making rounds across town with their Valentine drop-offs for 200 of the Duarte Senior Center's most active members.

“In previous years, City staff would host Valentine’s Day brunch for our seniors and their sweethearts, but with the pandemic, we have been unable to gather for our usual in-person events,” said Peggy Diamond, recreation supervisor at the Senior Center. “Since many of our seniors have spent nearly a year in isolation, our team came up with the idea of delivering care packages as a way to remind them that we are thinking of them. We just wanted to spread a little bit of extra love this Valentine’s Day.”

Duarte senior Julie Lopez expressed her gratitude shortly after the first few deliveries, leaving a voicemail message for senior center staff, “I want to thank you very much for my Valentine’s heart balloon and the flower and the card. I really appreciate you people for what you have done for me throughout the years.”

Staff made their first round of deliveries on Monday, February 8 and will continue through Friday, February 12.

“Seniors are absolutely vital to the enrichment of our community and what better time to show our appreciation than Valentine’s Day week?” Manuel Enriquez, Duarte’s parks and recreation director commented. “Our entire team in Duarte Parks and Recreation hopes these gifts show our seniors how valued they are and that we are still here to support them, despite the limits of the pandemic.”

While the Duarte Senior Center is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, Parks and Recreation is still hosting virtual classes and events for Duarte seniors.