Music, dancing, laughs at annual event
BY VOICE STAFF
Lookout Ridge Retirement Community held its annual bake sale and Alzheimer’s Coffee Break last Thursday, raising some $1200 for the second consecutive year.
The annual event is the second of Lookout’s two primary charitable initiatives, after its spring fundraiser for cancer research. Well over a hundred residents, staff, and members of the public crowded into a dining room to listen to Brad Boland, a singer who specializes in retirement home entertainment.
As Lookout’s Recreation Co-ordinator Shannon Douglas explained, the fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s foundation is particularly important to Lookout Ridge because so many residents either suffer from the disease, or see their spouses or close friends battle with senility.
“We want to do our part to help find a cure,” she said.
While many residents may struggle with memory loss, most seemed to recall nearly all of the songs that were played on Thursday.
Boland, 44, rolled smoothly through a setlist of classics, most of which were released before he was born. The crowd loved it.
“He plays all the songs that everyone knows,” said Douglas, “and the ladies like him because they say he’s easy on the eyes.”
With two songs left, he put away his guitar and punched a button on a small computer in front of him, taking the microphone from its stand and giving himself free range of motion to gesticulate. As he started to sing “That’s Amore,” a few in the crowd began to dance. One woman pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and twirled between the tables, trying to get others to join her.
When he had finished, Boland thanked the crowd and said “From Dean Martin to Frank Sinatra,” and launched into his finale, “New York, New York.” He kicked up his legs, alternating left and right, and soon a line of seven women—staff and residents—formed in front of him, joining his hands and mimicking his leg kicks.
The line wove between the tables, and those sitting laughed as it passed them by, clapping their hands together and swivelling their heads from Boland to the dancers.
“He’s a fine performer,” said Peter Mansfield, who came down from Lookout’s third floor for the show. “And this is a fine event.” He drained the rest of his coffee and brushed the crumbs from his lap, preparing to beat the line-up at the elevator to return upstairs.
Boland finished his rendition of “New York” to great applause, and promised to return again before too long. Douglas thanked Boland and the day’s volunteers. There was no encore.
Lookout Ridge will hold its first ever “Talent Night” on October 25, and the public is welcomed to this event, too.