Bob Watkins and Ringo the Rat
Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

The Desert Samaritans for Seniors held ‘AN AFTERNOON OF ENTERTAINMENT and HONOR’ on November 17th at the Marriott Hotel and Spa. The Cocktail hour held a large silent auction with a stilt walker, Hula hoop entertainer and a face painted girl inside a table that moved around the room with silent auction items on the table. A lot of young girls with painted faces and Masks walked around the room to entertain and talk to the guests.

The buffet held mini burgers, mac and cheese, mini hot dogs in a blanket and a salad. There were flavored waters for guests along with a no-host bar. Guests were called into the ballroom for some fantastic entertainment. Dancers and a trapeze artist thrilled the guests. Rob Watkins took on the job as emcee but also entertained with his mid reading rat and a large yellow chicken as a ventriloquist.

The Honorees were presented with their awards. The first honoree Mary Hansen-Faris was presented her award by Jo Anne Kennon, secretary of the Board of Directors. The next honoree was Betty Frances and was presented the 2013 Golden Senior Award by Harold Matzner. Part 2 of the entertainment was again by FlowBox circus troop.

Dan McGrath and Dick Shaloub took on the duties of auctioneer for a live auction of 2 items. The final honoree was The 22nd Annual Good Samaritan of the Year award. That award went to Robert Pond, in memoriam, and his wife Jo Pond. Jo Pond was introduced by Suzanne Armstrong and Jo Anne Kennon. All honorees were escorted to the stage by Doug Morin CEO.

The final Entertainer was Hillel The Balloon man. His comedic routine included bringing some of the men in the audience to the stage. Hillel proceeded to ask the men to do hilarious things all without speaking a word. He motioned to 2 of the men to come forward and pretend to swing a jump rope and had the other men pretend to jump that rope with him.
The men were given a huge applause. Hillel then did his ballon tricks where he went inside a very large balloon.

Desert Samaritans is a non-profit group that aids low income seniors with food assistance, social work case management and advocacy thru social service programs in the Coachella Valley.