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Beacon Senior News

Alive and Kicking: Variety Show to help subsidize senior lunches

Oct 07, 2018 04:58AM ● By Arlyn Macdonald

“Seventy is the new 50,” said Marilynn Huseby, resource counselor at the Montrose Senior Center. “People have so much energy and talent, and we have the most talented people.”

Community members can see local talent first-hand at the Alive and Still Kicking Variety Show at the Montrose Senior Center on October 15. This fundraiser for the Senior Community Lunch Program kicks off with a barbecue and potluck dinner at 4 p.m., followed by a variety show with a lineup of family friendly entertainment at 5 p.m.

Huseby plays “Ted” Sullivan, who will introduce acts to the stage, including ventriloquist Larry Easterling and cowboy singer Bruce Pollard.

There will also be school group performances, singers from a woman’s choral group and barbershop quartet, and skits from Magic Circle Players.

Carolyn Johnson came up with the idea for the show, which is modeled after the first Senior Variety Show that had attendees kicking up their heels in the late 1990s.

“The community doesn’t usually come down to the senior center,” said Huseby, who volunteers on the board of Golden Circle Seniors, a group that helps operate the senior center, “but if they did, they would experience this lively and fun group and see how involved they are.”

While many older adults take part in the senior center’s classes and recreational activities, Huseby said the meal program is the focal point of the facility. She explained that seniors who attend classes or educational programs before lunch will often stay to eat, and others will come for lunch with friends and enjoy crafts and games in the afternoon.

“It’s like ‘Cheers,’” Huseby said. “Everybody knows your name and you are always welcomed.”

The senior lunch program was federally funded through Region 10 until 2013 when funding was pulled from the Older Americans Act. Golden Circle Seniors worked with Volunteers of America to continue the program, but lunch reservations now must be made in advance and the cost of meals has increased from $5 to $7.

Variety show organizers hope to subsidize the cost of meals by raising $8,000-$10,000, which would bring the cost down to $6 per meal.

Volunteers like Norma Swan have put their best foot forward to ensure the show’s success. Swan, 93, has already gathered more than $1,000 in sponsorships and items for the silent auction, including a one-year membership to Orvis Hot Springs in Ouray and two nights at the Chipeta Solar Springs Resort in Ridgway.

“Volunteers are the life-blood of the city,” Huseby said. “Montrose is growing into an older senior community, and we need more support from the community."

Golden Circle President Joy Portnier said she hopes that community members will enjoy the event and come support local seniors. Tickets are not needed, as donations will be accepted at the door.

Interested performers or sponsors can contact Huseby at 901-9914 or [email protected]. Potluck dishes can be brought to the senior center, located inside the Montrose Pavilion, at 3:30 p.m. the day of the event. Donations can be mailed to Golden Circle Seniors, PO Box 832, Montrose, CO 81402-0832.