in 2021 we are
February 26, 2021
Celebrating Aging Through the Performing Arts

The SVS Covid detour of 2020 leading to the exceptional development and showcasing seniors on a regular basis (Facebook, You Tube) was not the first SVS detour. What about 2013??

 Where were YOU, Feb. 27th, 2013?  Well, at 1pm on this day eight years ago a creative, determined, slightly wild-eyed group of dreamers met at the corner table at Village Inn and welcomed in a new era for the Senior Variety Show! 

Originally born under the auspices of Heartland Senior Services, in 18 years the senior show had grown too big to be managed by Heartland’s minimal and busy staff. But a small set of volunteers were resolved to not let the show end.  Along with the SVS Creative Team of volunteers already in place, other community leaders came forth to save the day. Pictured above is the original SVS board of Skip Walter, Betty Boccella, Jim Meek, Chuck Jones, and Marilyn Johnson at their first official March meeting in John Crawford’s new Alpha Copies board room.
 The able hands on deck moved things right along. Just like this year 2021, Freedom Flight was chosen as the recipient of the show proceeds, Julie Minot wrote the new by-laws, Crawford offered to design and produce the show booklet; Carole Horowitz, Kitty Fisher, John Jacobson, Jan Tibbetts, Mary Ann Barnes. Geri Derner all added their skills to the mix, and the 19th Annual Senior Variety Show, “Lettuce Entertain You!” was back in business without missing a step! 

 As we mourned the passing of Ames businessman John Crawford of Alpha Copies this month, it reminded us of this important bend in the SVS road. We are so grateful for those in the community like John who saw the value of senior talent and tradition in Story County and stepped up to help us in 2013.  It truly takes a “village!”

Hint for our next featured performer.
The video clip that you will see here was a promo put together by ISU student Olivia Hunt for that 2013 show.  Questions:  Who were the background singer and accompanist? Who organized that first 4th of July parade, and who planned the bandshell “salad feast” that followed?        Answers at bottom of newsletter…
Make your best guess and hit the hot linked SVS You Tube channel below to see this week’s showcase (it’s already posted!!)
What are you doing since the HOLIDAYS (and Covid)?
Let’s read how some folks have been spending their time these past months 

Keith Wirtz: I have been busy with a French Bull Dog. We got her almost a year ago. Luna has kept me very busy walking, feeding, and house breaking. She is a happy dog and lets me know her needs by barking. She loves the snow but not the cold weather. We are all waiting for spring! (Happy Birthday Luna!!)

Alice Thompson: Just before the pandemic struck, my granddaughter had requested that I write down my life stories. So during lockdown, I wrote a 100-page book, Stories of My Life, 1923 – 2020. (Wow!)

You can send your quarantine projects and ideas to us at and we will share. Building community one project at a time.
Spotlight article: Golden K Singers

The Golden K Singers first performed in the 11th Annual Senior Variety Show back in 2005. The group began as a Kiwanian men’s chorus and was directed by Warren Frahm.  David Waggoner held the baton in 2009 and 2010 and passed it to Joe Traylor who has directed at the last nine senior shows. Currently Golden K Singers have 26 members who are quite proud of their median age of 79, as well as opening their ranks to four female singers.

This group is known for its innovative song choices and showmanship. They perform not only in the variety show but for an average of 16 other audiences throughout the year. And they have been blessed by great accompanists. Following Jutting have been Laura LaGrange, Mary Nelson, and currently Linda Fauquet.

 When asked about his favorite chorus performance in the senior show, Traylor is torn between the Pirates of Penzance and Step in Time, with Rhythm of Life a close third! (I personally would have to throw in I’ll Fly Away with the amazing duet piano accompaniment!)  Regardless of the year, the SVS audiences are in awe and greatly anticipate the next performance. SVS salutes you, Golden K Singers!

Don’t forget to stay in tune and rhythm with your fellow performers, friends and fun on the Senior Variety Show Facebook and You Tube!!!!      

Newsletter humor by Steve Bellin

A German Shepherd went to a Western Union telegram office, took out a blank form and wrote "WOOF. WOOF. WOOF. WOOF. WOOF. WOOF. WOOF. WOOF. WOOF."

The clerk examined the paper and politely told the dog, "There are only nine words here. You could send another "WOOF" for the same price."

 "But", the dog replied, "that would make no sense at all."

 (So how many "Woofs" does it take to make sense and a message? Only Fido knows!!)

Answers to video clip questions:  Lynn Lloyd, singer; Marilyn Johnson accompanist; Kitty Fisher, parade organizer; Kay Berger, salad hostess