Residents, family, and friends got All Shook Up Friday night as Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso rolled out the red carpet to give guests the star treatment for their Elvis is Back in the Building Event.
The red carpet led to a Vegas-style lounge where guests were treated to Elvis-inspired cuisine, a dessert table featuring peanut butter and banana treats, and a tended bar. Elvis posters and prints hung on the walls, like stepping into a teen girl’s bedroom in 1956.
“They went all out on the decorations, but they always do,” resident Barbara Parker-Davis said. “It’s a lovely place and the people are lovely. The building is well-appointed, and every holiday they make it just gorgeous.”
Harley Hehr warmed up the crowd with his variety show. From George Burns to Cher to Harry Carrey, Hehr’s jokes, impersonations, and covers of golden oldies delighted guests. A young boy named Alexander proved that Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire is the perfect beat for Fortnite dancing.
“These events are so much fun,” Hehr said. “I’m glad they asked me back.”
Between acts, guests refilled their plates and drinks and took photos with Elvis cutouts using hair, microphone and sunglasses.
“I’m really more of a Beatles fan,” said resident Barbara Parker-Davis, “...but when Elvis starts singing, this interview is over!”
Elvis of All 4 Fun Entertainment took the stage and the crowd enjoyed his accurate renditions of hits. He even took audience requests, obliging a resident he called “Captain” with Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Elvis called the ladies up to the stage to shake maracas and what God gave them for a Viva Las Vegas showstopper. Then, the gentlemen were invited up to play blow-up guitars for a group performance of Jailhouse Rock.
“When I’m looking at the stage and I see one of my residents playing the air guitar and having a great time, it melts my heart,” said nurse Val Cusick, who brought a couple friends to the event to meet her residents. She even broke out her blue suede shoes especially for the event.
“This is why I’m here every day, and this is why I’m here tonight.”
“She’s probably more of an Elvis fan than I am,” said Bob Gregg who came with his wife to see the show with his mother, resident Iona Gregg. “Journey’s just a wonderful place. We come to their events because they take wonderful care of her, and we like to support them.”
Journey hosts events monthly, from comedians to magicians to events like Elvis night, to bring the fun to the residents.
“We host these events to capture a fun night and make memories with our residents,” said Sales & Marketing Director Tiffany Anderson, “I’m really proud that we can host their kids and grandkids so they can have these fun experiences with their grandparents. I don’t have a memory like this with my grandparents, you know?”
The evening was indeed memorable. With the dance floor open, staff, residents and their families and friends couldn’t help falling in love with Journey Senior Living’s Elvis is Back in the Building night of music, food and fun.
For more information about Journey Senior Living, please visit http://www.journeyseniorliving.com/.