BJ's Mother's Day dance

luncheon makes her "feel like a queen"

Rather than spend Mother’s Day alone at the care facility where she lives, 79- year-old B.J. Littlejohn put on her best dress and came to the Red Lion Hotel at the Park for a Parisian-themed I Remember Mama Mother's Day luncheon–and the surprise of her life.

When she arrived she was adorned with a bright feather boa, showered with gifts and offered entertainment and companionship. But that was just the beginning.

“I looked over at one point and she was swaying happily to the music,” recalls her volunteer table hostess, Scooter Mahoney. “I told her she looked like she was in heaven. She opened her eyes and said, ‘I would be, if only I were dancing.’”

Scooter invited B.J. onto the dance floor, making the most of the nostalgic music provided by beloved local jazz guitarist Robert Vaughn. Scooter danced them over to the front table to catch the eye of another special guest.

“She could hardly contain herself,” said Scooter, “when Mayor Hession tapped on my shoulder and asked to cut in. I told her I was sorry to interrupt our fun, but the mayor wanted to dance with me. ‘Oh, no,’ B.J. said. She was almost giggling. ‘He wants to dance with me!’ I’ve never seen someone so happy.”

More than 140 women like B.J. Littlejohn, many living in low-income senior housing or isolated by disabilities, attended this year’s I Remember Mama luncheon on May 13, 2007. Each woman received a gourmet lunch, gifts, entertainment and companionship.

“I feel like a queen, but I know I’m not,” B.J. said after she finished her dance with Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession. “Oh, I think this is the most marvelous thing. They do so much for the seniors here in Spokane. Otherwise, these people would all be unhappy.”