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      Little Brothers celebrates 30 years

      A group made up of three women and four men have been serving Thanksgiving dinner to elderly residents for the past 30 years. "Thirty years ago, of course, we had more hair on our head; it wasn't quite so gray, and we were the youngsters and all of these 60-year-old people were coming in for meals, and now here we're in our 60s," said Ted Soldan, 30-year volunteer.But that's not slowing the group down. Before the elderly residents can sit and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, it takes about four hours for volunteers to prepare and cook all of the food.The Doelle Senior Center in Tapiola is one of the original places where it all started as a holiday dinner 30 years ago. Over 20 residents will be served Thanksgiving dinner as well as volunteers."This group of people that comes here for these dinners over the years has become like an extended family to us," said John Welch, 30-year volunteer.That's the exact feeling Cathy and Mike Aten were hoping for when they started Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly 30 years ago."Thirty years ago I saw ourselves as just a small program in the Houghton County area. I had no idea that we would grow like this, and we could only grow because of the volunteering and community involvement," said Michael Aten, Executive Director of Little Brothers.The community involvement also extends to the delivery of food to elderly residents who can't leave their homes."I see so much good in my job, and I think our volunteers are the best, and so we would live to just keep spreading Little Brothers across the U.P.," said Cathy Aten, volunteer program coordinator for Little Brothers.