For Hometown News
DAYTONA BEACH -- Residents of the Emory L. Bennett Memorial Veterans Nursing Home in Daytona Beach were recently transported back to the sights and sounds of the Swing Era during a musical performance featuring hits by the Andrew Sisters, Patti Page, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.
South Daytona residents Jim Goodwin and Dan Baltulonis approached singer Elena D'Andelet about putting on a show for the veterans. Goodwin, a retired businessman and longtime community volunteer, thought it was important to honor the dwindling World War II veterans who gave so much. "We are losing hundreds of veterans each day," he said. "It's important to recognize their contributions and provide them with some first-class entertainment."
The trio recruited singers Bob Harrison, Michelle Chance and Jill McConville, along with Bob Hawes, who provided the sound equipment. The female performers channeled the Andrew Sisters by wearing '40s era military uniforms and singing classics, such as "Don't Sit under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)."
"The healing power of music is wonderful," Ms. D'Andelet said. "One 98-year-old veteran even got out of his chair and danced a jig."
With a daughter serving in the U.S. Air Force, Ms. D'Andelet noted she receives great rewards from performing for veterans. "Veterans gave to our country. It's an honor to give back to them," she said.
The event was such a hit that Ms. D'Andelet said she would like to provide similar shows to other nursing homes in the community. "We'd love to bring cheer and brighten the souls of those who have contributed to our society."
To contact the group, call (901) 489-5382.