Welty Residents Celebrate Christmas

A group of Welty Home residents have celebrated the holidays by putting on a show, “Christmas Around the World,” for fellow residents and their families.

The entertaining program was the brainchild of resident Clara Presutti, who remembers enjoying similar Christmas pageants in her youth.

David Callihan, a member of the Welty Home activities staff, directed the program, which included singing, dancing and skits. Special guests included Tate Blanchard, who read the classic newspaper editorial, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” which appeared in the New York Sun newspaper in 1897. Payton Nickerson read Virginia’s letter to Santa, and performed a dance routine for residents. Payton, the daughter of Brandon and Jennifer of Wheeling, is the reigning Junior Miss Dance of America.

Marv Whiteman, a blind entertainer from Wellsburg, delighted the crowd by singing and playing the piano. Vocalist Cheri Harding from Cambridge added to the program with her beautiful song stylings.

The audience also enjoyed a rousing Christmas carol sing-along and a discussion of Christmas traditions in many different countries. The program ended with a Bible reading describing the birth of Christ, traditional carols as well as “Silent Night” performed in sign language by the residents who take part in Callihan’s weekly sign language class. Performers and guests enjoyed Christmas cookies, eggnog and time together after the program.

Residents and their families were thrilled by the program, said Welty Home nanager Tess Gaudino. “The whole event was David Callihan’s idea,” she said. “He did a wonderful job of recruiting residents and professional entertainers.”

Whether they were on stage performing or singing along in the crowd, residents all had a great time, she added.

Welty is part of a continuum of senior living options offered by the nonprofit Welty Corp. The distinctive mid-century modern property, at 21 Washington Ave. in Wheeling, is designed for people who want to remain independent but appreciate the added measures of comfort and security that Welty offers.