Sodano Does Sinatra for Seniors at St. Francis CenterVolunteer Entertainers Welcome at Congregate Lunch Program
Besides sponsoring the 18-Mile Run on Oct. 7, St. Francis Community Center remains ever busy on a daily basis, working to offer senior services that on Oct. 3 included a musical performance by Dave Sodano, who volunteered to sing for the center’s weekday lunch audience.
Sodano sang “Sinatra by the Sea” weekly throughout the summer at Spray Beach Inn, and on Wednesday he glided through Old Blue Eyes classics such as “My Way” and “New York, New York.”
“He is so good I could sit here all day and listen to him,” said Barbara Hopf, 81, of Haven Beach. “You were terrific! It was a great afternoon,” Hopf told Sodano.
Sodano is an example of performers who are part of the socialization and recreation portion of senior services offered by St. Francis and might include, as it did on Wednesday, a meal offered as part of the congregate lunch program that seniors receive for a suggested donation of $2.
“A lot of these people are single and home alone, and it’s a good way for them to have companionship together,” said Sodano, who riled up the crowd, coaxing them into singing along, and even getting volunteers like Sherry Schnepp into the act as part of a group of impromptu Rockettes who kicked up their legs while Sodano melted the seniors’ “little town blues” away.
“We do a lot of nice things like having Dave Sodano come in, which is stuff that they really enjoy,” said Schnepp. “It can be awful lonely for many of them to sit at home by themselves, and this is good for socialization.”
A calendar of events can be found at stfranciscenterlbi.org. Linda Falb, director of senior services, makes that schedule, which includes an upcoming workshop on Oct. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. that will illustrate the coming changes to Medicare in 2013.
That workshop takes place at the Southern Ocean Service Center in Manahawkin, followed by a three-site luncheon. “At some point the nutrition programs will be moving there,” said Falb, though a date had not been set by press time.
Falb said the center is always on the lookout for volunteer entertainers like Sodano.
“If you have a talent that you may want to share with the community, give us a call. We’re always looking for new things for them, regardless of whether it’s an educational program, singing or anything.”
— Michael Molinaro