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SO FL SUN-SENTINEL
Miramar Choir Keeps Seniors In Tune
Mostly Hispanic Group Travels County
By Nick Sortal
February 25, 2005
While some seniors may moan about their health, or sit idly and commiserate, the members of the Sunset Lakes Choir do no such thing.
The group of about 20, based at the Sunset Lakes Community Center, 2801 SW 186th Ave., Miramar, travels about once a month to sing at other senior centers. Last month, the seniors went to the Venetian Street center in eastern Miramar. On Tuesday, the group's members will visit the Northeast Focal Point Alzheimer's Unit in Deerfield Beach.
"They're quite the spirited group," said Kim Morrow, a social services specialist at the Sunset Lakes center. "They're always dancing around or just singing for fun."
The group, mostly Hispanic, formed last summer after many of them found song as a way to bond. Seniors from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Colombia, for example, found that music struck a common chord. They sing in Spanish.
"It was kind of like, `Even if you didn't know anybody, you could sing with them and they would be your friend,'" Morrow said. "What they had in common was a lot of the songs they knew."
So they sang in the Sunset Lakes talent show last summer, and Morrow has been booking performances ever since, including the tree-lighting ceremony in December at Miramar City Hall and the Austin Hepburn Center in Hallandale in January.
Morrow said she is especially excited about the group because its members initiated the idea, rather than merely responding to city employees dreaming up a program.
"We always try to have a variety of activities and programs, but what's most important is that it's something they're interested in," she said.
Group leader Graciela Bulla said the choir is a way of joining nationalities together, and she "just loves to sing."
"But also the choir brings enthusiasm and happiness," Bulla said. "And all of this happiness we find in this group, we have the opportunity to share with others."
Morrow said the seniors enjoy making others happy.
"A lot of times seniors see their feeling of giving back taken away," she said. "So this way, they feel like they're giving something back."
Participation is free, but singers must be at least 60. They also must go through the free registration to join the Sunset Lakes seniors group. Call 954-602-3347.