Singers let the sunshine in

Care home residents enjoying group’s songs and antics

For much of the year, a group of ladies have been bringing sunshine to the ones who need it most in Agassiz and Hope. Doris and the Sunshine Ladies started singing at rotating list of care homes in May, on a weekly basis, and for special occasions such as birthdays.

But they’re not singing as entertainers, Doris Rusnak insists.

“We’re sing-alongers,” she says. “And we wear silly hats to make the people smile.”

Some of the ladies bring their instruments, Mary Fisher with her guitar, for example. Rusnak brings along her q-chord, an auto harp with no strings. She learned how to play that while traveling down south over the past several years.

“I was a snowbird for years,” she says, “and that’s when I started singing with a group.”

In May, she decided it would be nice to share music with local seniors, and the Sunshine Ladies quickly formed.  Each week, they are booked into one of the care homes to spend time with the residents. But those sing-alongs have become so popular, Rusnak and the others wanted to include the community.

So, they’re bringing their sing-along to the Hope Station House for a public event.

Everyone is invited to join in the Christmas Carol Sing-along, on December 4 at 2 p.m. As a special treat, the youth from St. Anthony’s in Agassiz will be joining in, forming a live nativity as part of the entertainment.

They are expecting some of the care home residents in Hope to be in the audience, and they’re hoping to show the community some of the positive effects of singing.

“We sing songs that people remember,” Rusnak says, and even those who can’t sing-along, or can’t remember the songs, are often humming along and clapping.

But most of all, they end up smiling.

“We just look so ridiculous in our funny hats,” she says.

To learn about the Doris and the Sunshine Singers, phone 604-796-0442 or email doddi@shaw.ca.

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