Madeira Beach Mayor Travis Palladeno, recognizes Madeira Beach Social Club president Dianne Ray with a key to the city.
MADEIRA BEACH – The Madeira Beach Social Club, formerly known as the Seniors Club, is a changed organization since Dianne Ray took charge as president about two years ago.
The group today is larger, more involved, somewhat less “senior” and definitely more active than ever before.
Its members give much of the credit for the organization’s positive new direction to changes made by Ray.
To honor her efforts, and the club’s contributions to enhancing the lives of citizens ages 55 and older in Madeira Beach and neighboring communities, Mayor Travis Palladeno presented Ray with a key to the city. Palladeno said he was impressed with the club’s growing numbers and renewed vitality.
“After spending an afternoon hanging out with you all, I have to go home and take a nap,” he said.
“We’re now over 100 members,” said member Jan Kelly. She credited Ray with “starting so many different things,” including trips, monthly lunches at local restaurants, entertainment, and casino visits.
“We’re more involved in doing things together,” Kelly said.
Betty Smith said Ray works very hard and “finds new things for us to do.”
Jean Flood spoke of personal qualities that have made Ray popular with members.
“She’s a true lady with as much grace as anyone I’ve ever met,” Flood said.
“She’s so giving,” said Susan Evans. And “doesn’t find fault with anyone,” added Hilda White.
Ray said her goal when she became president of the Madeira Beach Seniors Club was to take the “near dormant” organization and make it an active club.
The switch from “Senior” to “Social Club” was more than a name change, she stressed.
“I wanted to get more younger retirees, and get people out and involved, so I added activities that put some excitement in the club,” Ray said.
While the crowd sat at tables in a club fashion and snacked on pastries at the March 4 gathering, actress and violinist Kendall McGuire gave a spirited interactive performance. She played, sang and danced, and performed a skit based on “Cinderella.”
“That’s one of my goals,” said Ray as she watched. “I want things that get people excited and want to be involved.”
Revised to correct name of club president, Dianne Ray.