Pratt senior citizens entertained by a magician and 2018 Miss Kansas at annual event.
There was magic in the air at the 87th annual 75ers Dinner Monday noon at the Pratt Municipal Building.
There was the magic of seeing more than 100 smiling faces of the honored guests, all over the age of 75 being served by upcoming generations of 75ers.
And there was the magic of having Miss Kansas 2018 Hannah Klaassen regale the audience with her uplifting rendition of “Sentimental Journey” and other vocal numbers.
There was also the “Abracadabra” magic of Shawn Reida of Wichita, as he performed sleight-of-hand tricks and illusions that drew applause.
“It’s always great to see the community come together to host this dinner for the 75ers-and-up residents of Pratt County,” said Sharon Will, president of the sponsoring Pratt County Council of Clubs. “We look forward to seeing all the old and new faces every year at the dinner.”
The traditional chicken noodle dinner was catered by the Bethany Guild of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Natrona.
“These noodles are delicious,” said 75er Evelyn Dunnegan of Pratt, who with her husband Merle, was among the feted guests. Merle was among the 10 seniors honored, recognized as the guest having the birthday closest to the date of the 75ers celebration.
As he opened his act, Reida told the audience, “You have to act like a magician and think like a magician to be a real magician.”
Reida’s act included his takes on some famed magicians, including Harry Blackstone and others, and he also amazed the group with mind-reading tricks, though he cautioned the 75ers and other audience members in advance, “Mind reading is not real.”
There was also the expected “white rabbit” trick that drew applause.
The program included presentations of awards in 10 categories, based on information gathered from guests as they arrived.
Oldest Male: Nathan Schepmann, 94; Youngest Male, Leo Roberts, 72; Oldest Female: Velma Simmons, 105; Youngest Female: Janelda Inslee, turning 75 this month; Longest Marriage: Leo and Elva Kitch, 70 years; Shortest Marriage: Virgil and Mildred Rush, 16 years; Most Children: Lola Loftis, eight; Most Grandchildren, Phyllis Randels, 36; Most Great-Grandchildren: Mary Michael, 35. It was noted that the award was defaulted to Michael because Lola Loftis, with 54 great-grandchildren, was honored for the most children.
Gifts for the award winners were provided by The Flower Shoppe, Parson’s Jewelry, Lisa’s Western Wear, Memories, Woody’s Sports Bar & Grill, Blythe Family Fitness, Sears, Dillon’s Floral, Home Lumber and Simply Southwest.
Contributors to the 75ers Dinner Fund were by Becky Bettes, Hamm Auction, Integreen Services, Larrison Mortuary, Legacy Bank, Midwest Benefits, Nextech Wireless, Parkwood Village, Patton, Cramer & LaPrad, Pratt County Commissioners, Pratt Family Dental, Pratt Garden Club, South Fork Veterinary, Southern Pioneer, Taylor Printing, Inc. and State Farm Insurance and Pratt Pilot Club.
Other officers of the sponsoring Pratt County Council of Clubs were Vice President Kelli Denney and Secretary-Treasurer Casey Morelan. Sarah Philbern and Chris Gordon were committee members.