Grasshopper-shaped lemon cake dripped with fondant swirls, oversized chunks of cheesecake rested atop golden spoons, and pretzels and marshmallows bathed in a chocolate fountain. Fresh fruit and mini sugar-free gelatin parfaits gleamed pink and red on the tables. Shimmering tablecloths and tropical centerpieces dotted the room and music filled the air. For a day, a dessert social transformed the Community Living Center (CLC) at Wilkes-Barre VAMC into a paradise even Willy Wonka would love.
"The cheesecake was the greatest!" said CLC resident Thomas Warnock. "It was a nice change."
Veteran residents attending the event enjoyed an afternoon full of sweets and treats, complete with tableside service provided by youth volunteers and staff from Nutrition and Food Services and Recreation.
Rose Anne Wincek, a dietician at the Wilkes-Barre VAMC, conceived the dessert social. Wincek, who is also a member of the Northeast Professional Chefs' Association, said that this event served a dual purpose: to add to the recent cultural transformation efforts of the CLC and to fulfill her longtime personal goal of sharing her passion for culinary artistry with the Veterans.
"I wanted to provide the Veterans of the Community Living Center with a creative and elegant event," Wincek said. "Something that would provide them with enjoyment while also showing them that all foods can fit into a healthy meal program."
By Stephanie Strauss, VA Staff Writer