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Potluck of the Irish

Seniors in and around Westchase are invited to an "everything green" potluck dinner to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

The meat won't be green, but everything else will be. This is, after all, St. Patrick's day.

So Sharon Heller has organized an "everything green" potluck dinner for fellow seniors in the Westchase area.

"We want people to bring things like green salads, vegetables and cakes that are dyed green," said Heller, 64, who lives in Westchase's Shires section.

Heller and fellow members of a neighborhood seniors club hope to celebrate with about 160 people at 7 p.m. Saturday. The potluck dinner at the Westchase Swim & Tennis Center off Countryway Boulevard will be free.

Heller, who moved here from Arizona a year ago, said she had seen successful "everything green" dinners elsewhere and thought it might catch on in Westchase. She and her husband, a retired physician, plan to bring the corn beef and meats. "Those won't be green, though," she said.

The party will feature recorded Irish music and dancing. Although the Westchase community is known for its young families, Heller said the party sends the message that the senior group is alive and thriving in the community.

"We moved to Westchase because we didn't want to live in a retirement community," she said. "Westchase has a lot of seniors who had the same idea we did." Those seniors formed a group that has no dues or formal meetings, but gets together twice a month for activities.

"We're planning a trip to Tampa Bay Downs and some of us meet at 9 a.m. every Tuesday at the Burger King on Sheldon Road," Heller said. "They give us free coffee there."

The group also supports community causes, such as plans for an Upper Tampa Bay library. Heller said they will meet regularly at the Westchase Swim & Tennis Center for bridge and other games, starting in April.

Saturday's party is open to seniors in and around Westchase. To reserve a spot, call Heller at (813) 814-9378. The seniors club also posts information at the Web site