The uncontested highlight of the Christmas season at Monterey is the annual appearance of twenty kindergartners attired in green shirts and red antlers belting out holiday songs with plenty of body language to assist. Songs like Thank You, Jesus and Jingle Bells never sounded so good nor were sung with greater enthusiasm!
When these children come over via school bus from the Hope Rural School, their reputation precedes them, and the audience grows in size from one year to the next. The profusion of home baked goods provided by the committee and laid out buffet-style contributes to the encouragement of attendance as well. Tables for ten find room for fourteen, and there is standing room around the edges. Following the performance, Santa comes, and the children end up with a jolly thrill, a bag of candy from Santa, and a big bag of presents to take home. The children mingle one-on-one with very appreciative members of the audience before being guided to the porch area for refreshments.
Sister Elizabeth Dunn, Director & Sister Martha Rohde, the school's principal, takes the floor for a few minutes to present the school set-up, which is pre-K through grade 5, now consisting of 146 students. The school continues to follow and support the children through high school. A return invitation was put out for Monterey residents to visit the school and view in person all that goes on there.
It had everything a Halloween party could lay claim to! Costumes - a depth of variety and class beyond imagination.... Music by Sophisicats popping with party spirit and keeping it at high pitch all evening long....Dancing - you never did see such enthusiasm and tenacity....Food of all kinds, colorful, fabulous appetizers proving well worth that trip out to the porch. Best of all, it had the right kind of people, Monterey people, the old and the new, laughing, chatting, mixing, and launching a season of fun that could out-spook anybody's!
The MoTown Magic party was everybody's idea of a good time, and just leave it to the Onorato's to keep things musically moving. Up and dancing! was the rule of the evening, and there were plenty of line dancing numbers to satisfy anybody. People can't resist a Congo line, and The Red Solar Cup by an animated bunch of the ladies was not to be overlooked either. That Italian couple - you know, the lady and the gangster who sneaked in? - roamed around interfacing with everybody and anybody and captured the audience with their charm. Individual "portrait" photos were taken by our resident photographer for those who wanted a little memento of the occasion.
But the American flag! Always a winner and an emotional lift! Who could deny the grand highlight of the evening was our flag planted right out in the center with everybody singing loud and clear "PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! "
With the Monterey's snowbirds temporarily vacated in favor of the great north, our growing number of year-round residents (approximately 200 now) are enjoying the sunny Florida weather. Activities at Monterey continue, but on a little less hectic summer pace. The Club House and grill was a busy spot on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, providing for sold-out crowds where every table was filled. For the second year, a Fridays-at-Five byob cocktail hour has been active with a groups of twelve to thirty assembled weekly under the canopy with appetizers to share.
All the while, the golf course is getting a healthy dose of maintenance and the new mall on Monterey Road, which has turned out to be quite beautiful, has added a few more outlets. The new Wawa gas station/sandwich shop at Monterey Rd. and Kanner is now open. The summer problems with slimy green algae discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie river have subsided, but a long term solution is still problematic. There is always activity in downtown Stuart and the surrounding area, with great shopping, restaurants and entertainment for all.