By OPAL FLINN

Special to The Hays Daily News

ELLIS -- It was 19 years ago the Ellis AARP Chapter thought the older residents in the Ellis area, those reaching a special milestone in their lives, should be honored for their positive influential contributions to the community.

The chapter decided to have an annual celebration inviting those who were 80, 90 and 100 years old to be honored guests.

The 19th annual milestone ages birthday dinner sponsored by Ellis AARP was Sept. 25 in the Ellis United Methodist Church.

The honorees born in 1930 and 1920 and their special guests were seated at decorated tables and everyone was served a delicious meal prepared by EUMC women.

As the master of ceremonies, John Rupp introduced the honorees. He told many funny stories. People say laughter is good for your health, and it made a memorable day.

This year there were four 90-year-old and five 80-year-old honorees; no one born in 1910 was able to attend.

Rupp gave honorees the opportunity to tell about themselves and their family if they wished to do so. The one man and eight women shared stories of their families, where they grew up, who they married, how they made a living, their children and many interesting, happy memories.

These honored seniors have given their time to make Ellis a great place to live, to raise a family and to retire in. Many are still active in the church and organizations, sharing the wisdom gained through years of experience.

Everyone had a fun time. Plans are already being made for 2011. If you were born in 1931, 1921 or 1911 it will be your turn to be an honoree.

Opal Flinn, Ellis, is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.