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HANFORD — Some friendships last a long time.

On National Best Friend day, the senior citizens of Kings County came together to celebrate the friendships they have and a woman who has been helping seniors for the last 25 years.

The Kings County Commission on Aging put together the Senior Friendship Day and Havana Nights Prom Friday for the seniors of Kings County to dance, eat and enjoy life at the Hanford Civic Auditorium.

Before everyone hit the dance floor, Bobbie Wartson, executive director of the commission, recognized Pam Chin for her 25 years of working with the commission. Joe Neves, representing the Board of Supervisors, and a representative from state Sen. Andy Vidak’s office joined Wartson in recognizing Chin.

“She is an asset to the commission and she is a blessing,” Wartson said.

When coming into the event, Chin didn’t understand why she was being directed to the front of the auditorium, seated at a table with pictures of herself and instructed to let everyone else do the work for her.

“They must’ve pulled these photos from the archives,” Chin said while chuckling.

After looking up at the balloons that were a “2” and “5” she realized she was being recognized for her 25 years of service.

“It feels like it’s been five or six,” Chin said. “I am ready for 25 more.”

Wartson arranged for Chin’s children and grandchildren to surprise her at the event. Chin also had her mother there.

Chin works at Generations, the Lemoore adult daycare center, and the people who go to the daycare were able to attend the celebration.

“It’s nice because we only are allowed to have 15 of them at the center, but here we can have all 17 together at once,” Chin said.

The Commission on Aging presented Chin with a plaque and the Board of Supervisors gave her a hat with a Holstein cow pattern.

Chin said friendship day is a good way for people to socialize and get some fitness.

“Even though they’re 90 years old, they still like to party,” Chin said.

Sandra Escalante has attended five friendship day celebrations and said this event is fun for her to dress up to the theme and meet up with friends.

“The more fun you have, the longer you live,” Escalante said.

Two friends Lyn Townsend and Arlene Santino came to friendship day from Avenal. Townsend and Santino explained that this event gives seniors something look forward to.

“We always come,” Townsend said. “It is a good way to get out and about.”

Santino has attended the friendship day celebration for around 15 years.

“If I weren’t here I’d be sitting in my chair,” Santino said.

The event had a DJ playing music, dance instruction, a comedian and appearance by Jeremy “Elvis” Pearce. There was also a mid-morning snack and lunch served.

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